Friday, February 19, 2010

‘Most Formidable Force’ Senator PYJ Adds Doubts On Presidential Declaration

Source: http://www.frontpageafrica.com/newsmanager/anmviewer.asp?a=10624&z=3

Monrovia - When he announced immediately following the President’s declaration of her intention to run for a second term that he too will be contesting the presidency in 2011, Nimba County Senior Senator Prince Johnson (independent) who hastily arranged a few journalists in what seemed like an impromptu press conference did not mention that he was petitioned by the Liberian people; yet during Wednesday’s Focus on Africa program broadcast on the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), the former warlord told the world that he was petitioned by the Liberian people and not a self-declaration on intent.- When he announced immediately following the President’s declaration of her intention to run for a second term that he too will be contesting the presidency in 2011, Nimba County Senior Senator Prince Johnson (independent) who hastily arranged a few journalists in what seemed like an impromptu press conference did not mention that he was petitioned by the Liberian people; yet during Wednesday’s Focus on Africa program broadcast on the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), the former warlord told the world that he was petitioned by the Liberian people and not a self-declaration on intent.

“Who am I to say no when my people ask me to lead them?” Senator Johnson said when he was quizzed by the BBC journalist about his recent declaration.

MESSAIC CALLING?
"The people see me as someone who always stands in their defense and they decided to petition me. So, I must follow the people’s request”.

Senator Prince Y. Johnson(Independent-Nimba County
“The people see me as someone who always stands in their defense and they decided to petition me. So, I must follow the people’s request”, the senator said.

Just a few minutes after President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf announced her second presidential bid interest at the end of her controversial State of the Nation Address on January 25 before members of Liberia’s 52nd National Legislature on Capitol Hill, the once-fearful warlord-turned politician wasted no time in declaring his intention to contest next year’s presidential election as he declared that he will be the ‘most formidable’ force in the race, thereby implying that he will beat the incumbent President Sirleaf as she too had just announced few minutes to Senator Johnson’s declaration that she will be a formidable force.

“She said she will be a formidable force. We are saying we will be the most formidable force”, the Nimba County lawmaker had said as he revealed that his legislative colleague, Grand Cape Mount County Senior Senator Abel Massalley (National Patriotic Party-NPP) as his running mate.

Whether he and his new political partner will be the most formidable force to reckon with in the 2011 elections or not, what remains very sticky is the senator’s refusal to state that he was petitioned by the Liberian people during his brief post-state of the nation address press conference.

Anyone who is cognizant of the political landscape in Liberia fully knows that the petitioning of individuals, whether staged-managed or not, for elect-able posts are always characterized by a group of people formally giving the group’s petition to their prospective candidate most often done during a formal gathering or program.

Senator Johnson was the leader of the Independent National Patriotic Front of Liberia (INPFL), a splinter group of then-rebel leader Charles Taylor’s National Patriotic Front of Liberia (NPFL).

Many still believe that Senator Johnson is still temperamental as he was during his INPFL days evidenced from his hasty press conference in which he declared his intention. They believe that he may have been provoked by the President’s broken promise of the 2005 campaign which may have angered him prompting a self-declaration instantly in an apparent move to make President Sirleaf aware of a muddy political battlefield in 2011 especially when it comes to acquiring votes from Nimba County. This, they believe, was the case that led to Senator Johnson’s instant declaration which could not have possibly been a petition from any group as he even gave the announcement in the absence of his running-mate, Senator Massalley, though he, Senator Massalley, confirmed his political partnership with Senator Johnson days later.

‘PYJ’, as he is otherwise referred to especially during his warrior days, during Tuesday’s regular session told fellow legislative members of the Liberian Senate that his new party will be named National Union for Democracy and Progress (NUDP).

Since his announcement, many have held the opinion that the decision of the ‘most formidable’ candidate for 2011 is aimed at pressuring President Sirleaf, especially in his vote-rich county of Nimba where he brags about collecting the highest number of votes during the 2005 elections.

The former warlord’s confidence to throw his hat into what promises to be one of the tensely contested presidential elections in post-war Liberia might have stemmed from this backdrop of getting the highest number of votes from the country’s second largest populated county which makes him to apparently believe that Liberians have forgiven him in part despite being indicted by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) of Liberia.

Apart from recommending him for prosecution for massacre and other war crimes, the Final Report of the TRC is also recommending that the former warlord be made to account for the remains of former President Samuel K. Doe who was captured and killed by him in less than a year’s time from the launching of the Taylor-led rebel invasion nine months earlier.

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Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish on its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid. – A Einstein

Drawing the line in Liberia

Crimes sponsored, committed, or masterminded by handful of individuals cannot be blamed upon an entire nationality. In this case, Liberians! The need for post-war justice is a step toward lasting peace, stability and prosperity for Liberia. Liberia needs a war crimes tribunal or some credible legal forum that is capable of dealing with atrocities perpetrated against defenseless men, women and children during the country's brutal war. Without justice, peace shall remain elusive and investment in Liberia will not produce the intended results. - Bernard Gbayee Goah



Men with unhealthy characters should not champion any noble cause

They pretend to advocate the cause of the people when their deeds in the dark mirror nothing else but EVIL!!
When evil and corrupt men try to champion a cause that is so noble … such cause, how noble it may be, becomes meaningless in the eyes of the people - Bernard Gbayee Goah.

If Liberia must move forward ...

If Liberia must move forward in order to claim its place as a civilized nation amongst world community of nations, come 2017 elections, Liberians must critically review the events of the past with honesty and objectivity. They must make a new commitment to seek lasting solutions. The track records of those who are presenting themselves as candidates for the position of "President of the Republic of Liberia" must be well examined. Liberians must be fair to themselves because results from the 2011 elections will determine the future of Liberia’s unborn generations to come - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Liberia's greatest problem!

While it is true that an individual may be held responsible for corruption and mismanagement of funds in government, the lack of proper system to work with may as well impede the process of ethical, managerial, and financial accountability - Bernard Gbayee Goah

What do I think should be done?

The situation in Liberia is Compound Complex and cannot be fixed unless the entire system of government is reinvented.
Liberia needs a workable but uncompromising system that will make the country an asylum free from abuse, and other forms of corruption.
Any attempt to institute the system mentioned above in the absence of rule of law is meaningless, and more detrimental to Liberia as a whole - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Liberia's Natural Resources
Besides land water and few other resources, most of Liberia’s dependable natural resources are not infinite, they are finite and therefore can be depleted.
Liberia’s gold, diamond, and other natural resources will not always be an available source of revenue generation for its people and its government. The need to invent a system in government that focuses on an alternative income generation method cannot be over emphasized at this point - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Liberia needs a proper system
If Liberians refuse to erect a proper system in place that promotes the minimization of corruption and mismanagement of public funds by government institutions, and individuals, there will come a time when the value of the entire country will be seen as a large valueless land suited on the west coast of Africa with some polluted bodies of waters and nothing else. To have no system in place in any country is to have no respect for rule of law. To have no respect for rule of law is to believe in lawlessness. And where there is lawlessness, there is always corruption - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Solving problems in the absence of war talks

As political instability continues to increase in Africa, it has become abundantly clear that military intervention as a primary remedy to peace is not a durable solution. Such intervention only increases insecurity and massive economic hardship. An existing example which could be a valuable lesson for Liberia is Great Britain, and the US war on terror for the purpose of global security. The use of arms whether in peace keeping, occupation, or invasion as a primary means of solving problem has yield only little results. Military intervention by any country as the only solution to problem solving will result into massive military spending, economic hardship, more fear, and animosity as well as increase insecurity. The alternative is learning how to solve problems in the absence of war talks. The objective of such alternative must be to provide real sustainable human security which cannot be achieved through military arm intervention, or aggression. In order to achieve results that will make the peaceful coexistence of all mankind possible, there must be a common ground for the stories of all sides to be heard. I believe there are always three sides to every story: Their side of the story, Our side of the story, and The truthBernard Gbayee Goah

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