PYJ in $2million Deal
For Boakai Running Mate
Vice President Joseph Boakai’s hunt for a running mate in vote rich Nimba County appears to be experiencing hitches with Senator Prince Y. Johnson reportedly demanding US$2million for support.
Nimba is the second largest voting county in Liberia. Which recorded 174,775 votes during the October 2011 presidential elections. Reading the political map, the Vice President’s team intends to bring the county under its control via the selection of a respected and influential son or daughter of the region.
But sources privilege to discussion have confided that the County’s populist politician and Senator Prince Johnson is insisting being that person that will ride with the ambassador Boakai’s ticket as the Vice Presidential candidate.
Strategists are however uncomfortable with Johnson’s war record, which borders on rights violations and war crimes documented bout his role in the civil war. The team is also aware of the Senator’s hero status in native Nimba and trying to derive a balance, one source said.
It is further explained that when the Senator was approached with the news that one of his Kinsmen will be preferred for the role and his unflinching support is cardinal for victory; he made a US$2million demand.
That is, if he’s not the chosen one, his support should be purchased. It is not clear if the Boakai team will settle for such deal.
Agreeing to such payment could be possible but the real skepticism is the unpredictability associated with the name Prince Johnson, another pessimistic insider added.
Senator Johnson has the reputation of being unpredictable. During the 2011 elections he bad-mouthed the National Elections Commission and then candidate-President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, alleging that the polls were fraudulent. He then announced a boycott of the runoff along with other opposition candidates. The next day he was announcing his support to Mrs. Sirleaf, telling the BBC about his “adaptability to circumstances as they arise”.
This year he has given conflicting signals about his support and admiration for the Vice President. He told state radio that he will back Boakai for the Presidency and then the news appeared – he’s a candidate.
All sides have denied the US$2million request. A member of the Boakai team told the New Democrat they have no knowledge on such demand. Mr. Robert Kpadeh a former deputy information minister in the Sirleaf administration however indicated that the Vice President is having discussions with every Liberians about his bid.
When contacted with the US$2million claim, Wilfred Bangura the Senator’s Spokesman responded “that allegation is from the belly of the devil. It is far from the truth”.
Bangura explained that senator Johnson will be contesting the 2017 elections as a presidential candidate.
He also revealed that the Senator is closing in on the formation of a new political party – the Movement for Democracy and Reconciliation (MDR).
Prince Johnson – the born again Christian and former war lord has been enjoying the reputation of a king make since the 2011 elections in which he emerged amongst the big three. Highly unreliable the Nimba Senator seems determine to play such role again with a fresh re-election victory (2014 Senate Mid-term Election) that testified to his undiminished popularity in the vote rich region. Report of kickback in return for support to Johnson-Sirleaf in the second round of polling in 2011 led to his exit from the National Union for Democratic Progress – the political party he organized and financed
Rights abuse and atrocities committed during the civil war remains his undeleted negative. but he denied being a war criminal and declared himself a “revolutionary” and a “liberator”
For Joseph Boakai, who has vice president Johnson-Sirleaf for the rest of her presidency, he has the burden of responding to the regime failure and making a strong case of fighting graft and prosecuting officials with record of embezzlement in the current administration.