Profile of Liberia's Transitional Vice Chairman Wesley Momo Johnson

By Moses M. Zangar, Jr.
Accra, Ghana

The Perspective
Atlanta, Georgia

August 26, 2003

Wesley Momo Johnson
After suffering the throes of civil conflict occasioned by decades of long running saga, Liberians at home and in the Diaspora can now breathe a sigh of relieve, with the formulation of a two-year post-war transitional arrangement that is expected to set the stage for an organized democratic elections in 2005.

Warring Parties to the Liberian armed conflict on Thursday, August 21, 2003, elected a team of men to take up this prodigious task. One of such men is Wesley Momo Johnson, Vice Chairman elect of the National Transitional Government of Liberia. This piece is an attempt to flick through the personality of Liberia’s Deputy Transitional leader.

Wesley Johnson was born on May 27, 1944 in Banjor, a western suburb of Monrovia. He hails from the bullet-ridden County of Bomi, which is about 30 miles away from the capital, Monrovia. He is a Baptist Licentiate and Deacon (Zion Grove Baptist Church - Brewerville) and father of eight children.

He earned an undergraduate degree from St Francis College in Brooklyn, New York, USA in 1975. Mr. Johnson is a Certified Public Accountant and holds a Master’s of Business Administration (with distinction) from Long Island University in New York, USA, in (1977). He is a 1963 graduate of the Monrovia College in Monrovia, Liberia.
Wesley Momo Johnson has served his native country, Liberia in many capacities including Consul General to New York (1981). He was also confirmed as Liberia’s Ambassador to the Republic of Egypt.

In a professional field of several years, he has been Auditor of the Old Colony Newport National Bank, Providence, Rhode Island. From 1968-1972, he also served as Auditor of the Treasury Department of Liberia, now Ministry of Finance. He served in the auditor division of income tax and was assigned with Mhinny Murray and Company, a British Chartered accounting firm then hired by the Liberian Government. His responsibility was to assist senior auditors in conducting all types of auditing including financial operational and compliance audits between 1968-1972.

From 1972-1977, he served the Skyline Shipping Company, Inc as Senior Bookkeeper (class-I) and Brokerage Manager. Currently, he is a partner of Nimley and Associates, CPA Inc. “Boy Wes” is a member of many accounting firms and financial institutions. Notably among them are: the Liberian Certified Public Accountants (LICPA), Institute of Certified Internal Auditor, Inc based in Atlanta, USA, American Banking Association in Rhode Island, USA, MBA Executive in New York, USA.

Between 1990-1994, Wesley Johnson served as member of the then Interim Legislative Assembly (TLA). While a member of that August Body, he served as Chairman of the House's Standing Committee on Banking and Currency, Chairman of the committee on Ways, Means, Finance and Maritime Affairs. He also Co-chaired the committees on Rules and Order and Executive respectively. He was the Secretary General of the Liberian Parliamentarian Union.
Wesley has traveled out of Liberia extensively and has been member of Liberian delegations to several international conferences including the 36th General Assembly of the United Nations, where he headed the Committee on Disarmament in 1981, the African Pacific Carribean Commission held in Rosenberg (1992) as well as member of the delegation to the Inter Parliamentarian Union (IPU) held in New Deli, India.

He is an academic and is being referred to as the “utility lecturer,” apparently because he lectures at almost all of the Universities in Monrovia, to include the University of Liberia, United Methodist University and the AME Zion University College.

Wesley M. Johnson has a wealth of political experience, which dates as far back as 1973. His comrades in the political arena of Liberia consider him as a “walking politician” because he loves trekking and taking exercises. He commands respect from his colleagues for his consistency in politicking. For the past 30 years or more now, he has devoted his life to politics, especially in the formation of political institutions and in the service to humanity. In 1973, Johnson became a founding member and vice chairman of the Progressive Alliance of Liberia (PAL), founding member and vice chairman of the Progressive People’s Party (PPP) in 1980 and a founding member of the United People’s Party (UPP in 1984, where has remained until his election as Chairman of the party in 1999 and subsequently as Vice Chairman of the Transitional Government of Liberia .

As a social being, he is a member of several fraternal organizations including the Internal Order of Good Templar (IOGT), Pioneer Lodge in Monrovia, United Brothers of Friendship (UBF), J. Daniel Potter Lodge #150, Monrovia, Grand United Order of Odd Fellows, D.B. Cooper Memorial Lodge #11785, Monrovia, and Ancient Free and Accepted Mason, Israelite Lodge#l48, Brooklyn, New York.

He tells me his hobbies are playing soccer, track and field and reading. Teaching and hard work are also his hobbies. According to him, he has ascended to the position of Vice Chairman of the National Transitional Government of Liberia (NTGL) with open mind, dedicated commitment and a renewed vigor to help bring relieve to the Liberian people.