July 6, 2021, WTVNEWS LIBERIA: Nimba County Senator Prince Y. Johnson today resigned as Chairman of the Committee on National Defense, Security, Intelligence, and Veterans Affairs of the Liberian Senate.
There have been calls from the Public including Civil Society Groups, Prominent Liberians as well as the U.S. Embassy for Sen. Johnson to step aside from the committee due to his active involvement in the Civil Unrest.
U.S. Embassy in a strong-worded statement recently condemned Sen. Prince Y. Johnson’s election as Chair on the Liberian Senate Committee on Defense and Intelligence.
The Embassy statement described Sen. Johnson as a notorious warlord as such his election would undermine further fight to ensure justice for victims of war crimes in Liberia.
“The U.S. Embassy strongly condemns the election yesterday of notorious warlord Prince Y. Johnson as Chair of the Liberian Senate Committee on Defense and Intelligence. Senator Johnson’s gross human rights violations during Liberia’s civil wars are well-documented; his continued efforts to protect himself from accountability, enrich his own coffers and sow division are also well known. That the Liberian Senate would see fit to elevate him to a leadership role particularly in the area in which he has done this country the most harm creates doubts as to the seriousness of the Senate as a steward of Liberia’s defense and security” the US statement noted
The statement added “The U.S government is proud of our longstanding partnership with the Ministry of National Defense and Armed Forces of Liberia which will continue — but we can have no relationship with Senator Johnson. We note as well the continuation of Counselor Varney Sherman, sanctioned by the U.S. Department of the Treasury for corruption involving judicial bribery, as chair of the Senate Committee on the Judiciary, Human Rights, Claims, and Petitions. By giving Senators Johnson and Sherman these leadership roles, the Senate is effectively ensuring that corruption and lack of accountability flourish”.
But in a communication addressed to the Plenary of the Liberian Senate, Sen. Johnson noted that his resignation was prompted by several calls from citizens of Nimba including elders and Executives of Political Party (MDR).
“Chiefs, Executives of My political Party and stakeholders visited me and gave me Pieces of advice asking me to consider resigning the role in the Senate as Chairman of the Senate Committee on Defense, Security, Intelligence and Veteran Affairs, a request I accepted and honored”, Sen. Johnson Communication stated.
President Pro Tempore on behalf of the Liberian Senate thanked Sen. Prince Johnson for his services on the Senate Defense Committee and noted the acceptance of the Senator’s resignation by the Plenary of the Senate.
Meanwhile, Pro Tempore Chie has appointed Lofa County Senator Stephen J. H. Zargo to act as Chair of the Defense, Security, Intelligence, and Veterans Affairs Committee pending the election of the Chairman by Plenary.
Pro Tempore Chie also appointed Nimba County Senator Jeremiah Koung as Co-Chair on the Defense, Security, Intelligence, and Veterans Committee.
At the same time, the outgoing Chairman of the Senate Defense Committee, Sen. Prince Johnson has been appointed to the Ways, Means, Finance, and Budget Committee as a member.