By Bai M. Gbala, Sr.
PYJ in action
The Liberian reading public was entertained, recently, by the third Confession, unfortunately, of human, civil and political rights violations of summary executions by the Nimba County Senator, the Honorable Prince Yormie Johnson (Analyst Liberia, New Dawn, The Catalyst and The Capitol Times, March 29, 2017).
In the Foreword to our article entitled Liberia in Liberian National Politics (Analyst Liberia, November 10, 2016), we noted that “. . . the facts of history of the Liberian political experience show . . . that the Republic of Liberia is still locked in a dangerous transition from dictatorship, seeking liberal, progressive democracy, following the defeat of the Republican Party in 1876; . . . and the overthrow (of the one-party state) of the True Whig Party in 1980, all of the African-American settlers; and the nightmare of the African-American settlers-planned, -led and -executed civil war of plunder, destruction, human suffering and death, with that transition . . . still continues!!” to this day.
Moreover, in the light of a psychosocial theory (Inglehart, 1997) that holds that decisions, by leaders of private or public organizations, are influenced, largely, by the socio-cultural, economic and political environment, worldview or system of beliefs in which such leaders are born or raised, this article takes a close look at the gruesome, illegal activities in the context of the Liberian political leadership after 1847, the declaration of political independence.
Country of Refuge for People of Color
Liberian History teaches that the founders of the Liberian State were of two groups of People with different historical experience - socio-political and economic. One group was, and is, the African-Americans – emancipated, freed peoples of color from the North and South Americas and other slave-holding countries. They came and settled on this land of their ancestors, a flight from human slavery and bondage to human freedom, justice and equality, on the land of their own.
The other group was, and is, the African-Africans, though on their own land, but also a flight, metaphorically, from autocratic, despotic rule by African, tribal chiefs, monarchs and slave merchants who sold their own people to western slave traders; theirs, also, was in search of human freedom, justice and equality.
Liberia, the Founding Political Reality
The search for refuge for all freed people of color ended after 1847, the declaration of political independence, with the planned refuge for all freed people of color now reserved only for the few African-Americans Settlers, their political associates and socio-cultural/economic members.
For, the Founding Leadership, the African-Americans, of the Liberian State:
But, in response to the military coup d’état, elements of the overthrown True Whig party congregated in the United States of America under the leadership of the now-retiring President of Liberia, Mrs. Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf (EJS), the former True Whig Party ideological Foot-soldier and the nation’s former Finance Minister. Education, life-style, attire (until lately, after the April, 1980 Event), mannerism, deportment and body language convey the reality that Mrs. EJS was, and is, socio-culturally German-European, American, Americo-Liberian, while she is bio-physically indigenous African-Liberian.
For, Mrs. EJS conceived, planned, recruited the African-American leader (Mr. Charles Taylor), financed and led the historic insurgency of the war which invaded Liberia, military-style, on December 24, 1989, the war of looting, destruction, refugees, human suffering and death of an estimated quarter of a million Liberian lives.
On that day, December 24, 1989, the day of the invasion, Mr. Charles Taylor, Leader of the NPFL, announced on BBC Radio Focus on Africa, that “the NPFL was engaged in an armed struggle designed to “remove a dictator . . .”. But, our investigation disclosed “Not only that this announcement and subsequent activities provided the convenient, political explanation for and gave unique, tragic expression to the assaults against . . . tribal Peoples, the majority, but also that the insurgency developed, rapidly, into a willful, vicious, systematic manipulation and exploitation of indigenous, inter/intra-ethnic/tribal political differences. This condition inflamed inter/intra-ethnic/tribal passions and gave rise to the historic explosion of the . . . fifteen-year, ethnically-driven, deeply-divisive and deadly-armed conflict that severely victimized . . . tribal People, simply because the first indigenous person who became the nation’s elected president happened to be an ethnic/tribal personality. . .”
Mr. Prince Yormie Johnson (PYJ), indigenous, majority citizen of Nimba County, is former Field Marshall or Brigadier General of the break-away faction, the Independent National Patriotic Front of Liberia (INPFL), from the from the main National Patriotic Front of Liberia (NPFL) led by the African-American, Mr. Charles Taylor. This group – NPFL & INPFL – was the hired agent or insurgent of the Association for Constitutional democracy in Liberia (ACDL) of Mrs. EJS’s war machine that commanded the overthrow of the Liberian Government by force of arms.
After the assassination of the President of Liberia and from his offices at State Capitol, home of the National Legislature, where he serves as Senior Senator for Nimba County, Senator PYJ, under protection of his position and the prevailing state of impunity, confessed and defended, with pride and justification, the gruesome, brutal, atrocious and illegal acts of summary executions of innocent, unarmed citizens, and other acts committed against the nation and people.
Not only PYJ, but also, several senators, representatives, ministers of state, executives of state enterprises and others, highly-placed as honorables in the present government, were rebels and known perpetrators of gruesome human rights violations.
“Elected” Presidents of Liberia
Fast-backward, after the video-taped, alive-torture, eventual killing of the President of Liberia, point-blank, AK-47 brutal killing of presidential guards and threats of return to human suffering and death, the EJS recruited/appointed leader of the insurgency, Mr. Charles Taylor, was “elected” President of Liberia. Today, that rebel leader/warlord-president is serving a 50-year prison term for Political Crimes against Humanity, committed in the sister state of the Republic of Sierra Leone, not in Liberia.
After Mr. Taylor was driven out of Liberia, Mrs. EJS was, also, “elected” President of Liberia and dubbed the “first female President on the African Continent” with, almost, all of the rebels and major warlords, the known perpetrators of human rights violations “ordained honorables” now running around in the nation and world community with characteristic impunity, while the enacted Truth & Reconciliation Commission Roadmap designed for transitional Justice is gathering dust in the offices of the warlord-rebel rulers of the nation.
The Skillful Manipulator
The retiring President of Liberia, Mrs. EJS, had been, and is, a skillful manipulator par excellence. She sought, frantically, to become the political “kingmaker” in retirement to appoint her successor in the effort to secure and avoid prosecution for alleged war crimes and the roaring corruption of her regime. But her manipulative skills failed, miserably, this time around, because the elected leaders of her Unity Party refused to accept and abide by her historic, successful manipulations of others.
Asked about War Crime Court or Tribunal in Liberia and individuals in her government accused of human rights violations, Mrs. EJS’s answer was that “it is too late for that now”, because the individuals concerned “were elected by their people and had done and are doing some good”. Perhaps, the President failed to remember that war crimes are not subject to statute of limitation and that a war crimes court in Liberia is a necessary, legal and moral requirement for meaningful reconciliation.
Facts of history show that Mrs. EJS’s entire political career and survival was based on the skillful application of political manipulation – the use of poli-tricks, half-truths, falsehood, miss-information, double-cross, illegality, etc. to secure her desired political power and its perceived, associated wealth.
This conclusion follows from detailed reports by individuals who should know and knew – Mr. Tom Woewiyu, founding Chairman of Mrs. EJS’s Association for Constitutional Democracy in Liberia (ACDL) and Dr. Patrick L. N. Seyon, also Chairman of ACDL. We noted from their reports that Both Mr. Tom Woewiyu and Dr. Patrick Seyon were critics of Mrs. EJS for what they describe as her “manipulative behavior. Then there were and are the “Book Doctors”, like her Ministers of State, etc., Dr. Sawyer and his “Doctors Club” in and others outside of the present government - academics/intellectuals, rationalists – Dunn, McClain, Clinton, McIntoshand many others who were and are mere facilitators recruited, simply, to provide academic/intellectual “democratic face” to the outside world community, particularly, the wealthy, developed West and her US friends, in order to secure and retain support of the international community, manipulate and placate Liberian public, political opinion. Hence, information compartmentalization and related, carefully-designed recruitment/placement policy in her quest for political power and wealth.
The Case of Mr. Charles Taylor
After the failure of the November 12, 1985 coup attempt led by Mrs. EJS-recruited/appointed young, Nimba County citizen, General Tom Quiwonkpa, she turned to Mr. Charles Taylor who was held in detention in the State of Massachusetts, USA, upon extradition request from Liberia for trial on charges of theft of several millions of US dollars. Thereupon, Mrs. EJS told and convinced her friendly American officials that “Mr. will not get a fair trial in Liberia”. Mr. Taylor was released. The rest is history.
The statement that got Mr. Taylor out of jail had been, and is being, used against the EJS’s government by the Americans. Mr. Charles Taylor, locked up for 50 years, is fuming at Mrs. EJS for his 50-year predicament. Remember, EJS wanted the interim presidency to lead to permanent leadership of the TWP incarnate, LAP, from her NPFL partisans. But Taylor beat her to it. On the LAP/TWP inheritance, the late Jackson F. Doe was the favorite of NPFL Nimba County partisans. Unfortunately, Jackson F. could not, did not live to reap the benefits or tell the story. This brings us to our summary of conclusions.
The foregoing effort of re-telling the facts of history of our nation’s past, recent past and the present-prevailing facts and conditions show, clearly, that:
Now, Senator Prince Yormie Johnson (PYJ) says:
Mr. & Mrs. Liberia, the decision is yours to decide what to make of a warlord turned “politician” with this history of contradictions, flip-flaps and erratic behavior - inconsistent conduct, opinion, unpredictable, eccentric activities and, apparent, not trustworthy personality in socio-cultural, economic and political affairs, who compares himself to Thomas Jefferson and George Bush of the USA and General Bambageda of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
We ask that you stay tuned for our next analysis of: THE CONCEPTS OF VOTE-RICH NIMBA COUNTY & PYJ, THE MESSIAH OR SAVIOR OF NIMBA COUNTY.
Iglehart, Ronald, Modernization: Cultural, Economoic and Political, Princeton University Press, 1997.