-For Issuing Threats Over The Establishment Of War Crimes Court
By Jackson C. Clay, Jr.
Nimba County Senator and former head of the defunct Independent National Patriotic Front of Liberia (INPFL), Prince Yormie Johnson alias “PYJ” continues to receive ‘lashes’ for reportedly issuing threats that the establishment of war crimes court will instability in the country.
The controversial Nimba County senator is the then head of the INPFL, one of deadliest rebel groups that committed heinous crimes and crimes against humanity during the brutal civil conflict in the country that took away the lives of over 250,000 in the country.
He admitted in his book “The Gun That Liberates, Shouldn’t Rule’ that it was his warring faction that captured the late indigenous President, Samuel Kanyon Doe at the Freeport of Monrovia who later remained in his detention and died on September 9, 1990.
The former warlord now evangelist of the gospel is listed among people who committed high degrees of crimes against humanity during the civil war and recommended by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) for war crimes tribunal.
However, Senator Johnson has made several irritating and threatening statements every time the establishment of war crimes court in the country comes out.
Recently he threatened if the war and economic crimes court is established in the country, there will be instability because soldiers and other ex-combatants will come out in their numbers to wage chaos.
The statement from the Nimba lawmaker has caused him to received more lashes from several quarters.
It can be recalled one of the lead campaigners calling for the establishment of war and economic crimes court in Liberia and former chairman of the Center for the Exchange of Intellectual Opinions (CEIO), Franklin Wesseh described the former warlord now Senator of Nimba County Prince Yormie Johnson as a ‘blood thirsty’ person.
Speaking recently when he appeared on the Costa Show aired on Roots 102.7FM in Monrovia, Wesseh said the former warlord should refrain from making statements that has the propensity to undermine the country’s peace and stability.
Wesseh said instead of Senator Johnson be remorseful and remain quiet, he is rather defiantly parading around the country with impunity and feeling untouchable.
“Instead of being remorseful, you are defiantly masquerading within impunity and feeling untouchable but I will crave the attention of the President as he returns from his travel, looking at him that this is a President without stigma and let him not allow himself to be dragged in the mud by this bloody thirsty warlord and trigger crazy who thinks that he will always hide under the canopy of political patronage or being a son from Nimba county,” Wesseh stressed.
The war and economic crimes court activist indicated that if Senator Prince Johnson feels that by issuing threats would end the calls for the establishment of a war crimes court, then he should rethink his decision, thus, they remain unbending and committed to this struggle until the court is establish.
He further stated that the Nimba County Senator is no better than the over 250,000 persons that lost their lives during the bloody civil war that he, Senator Johnson and others brought on the Liberian people.
“Let me say this to Senator Prince Y Johnson that he is no better than the two hundred & fifty thousand of our brothers and sisters who were committed to murder in cold blood and he is not the only person who killed people in this country, so he should keep quiet when the issue of war crimes court is being raised,” Wesseh noted.
He wonders who Senator Johnson is to be making comments whenever the issue of war crimes court is being talked about, cautioning the warlord now turned evangelist to focus on preaching the Bible and avoid using the pulpit to rain insults and issue threats whenever issue of serving the Liberian people justice is flagged.
He frowns at those who are against the establishment of the court in the name of reconciliation, noting that there can be no reconciliation without justice and as such, those alleged perpetrators of war and economic crimes should account for their actions.
At the same time, Wesseh differ with the Speaker of the House of Representatives who recently said he would not affix his signature to any document calling for the establishment of war and economic crimes court in the country.
Wesseh’s comments are in reaction to Senator Johnson’s recent statement made at his church when he delivered a Sunday sermon, saying that if the court is established, it would divide the country and its military, the Armed Forces of Liberia.