MONROVIA – The re-election ambition President George Manneh Weah must have suffered a serious setback over the weekend when Senator Prince Y. Johnson, arguably the “Godfather of Nimba County” said the people of Nimba County and his MDR are “Halting our Political Support to the coalition for reneging on the agreement they signed with the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) to support the party during the second round in exchange of series of jobs should the party come to power in 2018.
In a press statement, titled “Special Press Statement to My Fellow Citizens of Nimba and Supporters in Liberia and Around the World” issued over the weekend and signed by him, Senator Johnson stated that there was an agreement in November 2017 for MDR to support CDC in exchange for top positions including ministers, managing directors, and some ambassadorial positions to be given to Nimba county or “President George Weah should appoint sons and daughters from Nimba County to occupy these top positions through our recommendations.
“Since the CDC lead government came to power in 2018, we are yet to see sons and daughters from our beloved Nimba County in those top senior positions we agreed upon and signed a document as evidence.
“The citizens of Nimba have for the past five years been knocking at my door for the president to appoint them, and we have used all diplomatic means and have consistently engaged this CDC lead government, but nothing is working in order to get redress and make our people who struggled during the campaign period happy!
“Once again my fellow citizens of Nimba and supporters in Liberia and around the World, we like to take this time to inform you that the agreement we signed with the CDC has come to an end!
“So for and on behalf of the great people Nimba and all partisans of the MDR Political Party, we are now constrained to make this pronouncement that we are “HALTING OUR POLITICAL SUPPORT” to the Coalition!
“As a former general in the army, we believe in agreement and don’t like to betray what we have agreed upon, so we ask you to remain calm until we can later inform you about where to go”, Senator Johnson said,
The latest decision from Senator Johnson who was instrumental for the victory recorded by President Weah in Nimba County in 2017 came as a shock to many persons who had followed the utterances and actions of the senator on several occasions where he endorsed the president for re-ele ction in 2023 against other president other presidential aspirants who have been courting his support. Pundits believe if the senator remains adamant to what he has said, it will be a serious blow to the President and his CDC for losing out in a major vote-rich county second only to Montserrado County.
The senator’s statement is also coming on the heels of another from Senator Jeremiah Kpang Koun, who is being regarded as the “political son” of Senator Johnson when he questioned the rationale of Nimba County supporting Weah while citizens are yet to get the benefits of their support to the CDC since 2017.
Koun said he has been approached several times from citizens of Nimba County how they were frustrated over the government’s reported refusal to honor its side of the bargain after it was supported to power in 2017. He said the citizens may have a rethink of the support to Weah and the CDC in 2017 if nothing is done to address the disappointment which has triggered a lot of disenchantments in the county among the citizens.
It can be recalled that during the second round of the 2017 election, Senator Johnson has taken Weah to Nigeria to meet the late Prophet TB Joshua for a reported anointing and both of them returned to Liberia amidst an overwhelming reception from CDCians. Senator Johnson later took Weah to Nimba where he publicly endorsed him and vigorously campaigned for him to victory.
Though there were rumors of some form of agreement reached between Weah and Johnson, the MDR leader denied that there was anything of such but the action was based on the party’s conviction that Weah was the better candidate than former Vice President Joseph Nyumah Boakai at the time.
Senator Johnson fell short of stating what could be the new direction of the party after terminating the 5 year old agreement they had with CDC.
There has not been any immediate response from the CDC but some CDCians spoken to said they were not taken this action lightly and that the party will going to swing into action urgently to avert what one top party chief who pleaded not to be quoted in the paper as “imminent calamity”.