Friday, September 24, 2010

Liberia ex-warlord Prince Johnson in leader race

General Prince Johnson
Former battle field commander
for Charles Taylor
NPFL rebels 
(Now Senetor Johnson)
Source: BBC NEWS

Former Liberian warlord Prince Johnson has told the BBC there is no reason he cannot stand in the country's presidential elections next year.
Mr Johnson, now an elected senator, said military leaders been elected in other countries.
His party was given the green light to compete in the polls earlier this week.
He is notorious for a 1990 video, in which he was seen drinking beer as his men cut off the ears of ex-President Samuel Doe, before killing him.

There has been a mixed reaction to his bid for power, with critics saying it could threaten the country's fragile peace.
Mr Johnson was a warlord during civil war between 1989 and 2003, in which some 250,000 people died.

'No exception'

Mr Johnson told the BBC's World Today programme that Liberia was no different to other countries that had fought war.

"We had a civil war like any other country, like America, like other countries that fought war," Mr Johnson said.

"They emerged from the war and then they moved their nation forward.

"General de Gaulle was a general who was involved in warfare but he became president who was elected by his people. You get Franklin D Roosevelt, you get General Eisenhower... Liberia is no exception".

Mr Johnson added that he had fought "to liberate our people from an oppressive regime" and apologised for any suffering caused during that time.

However, Liberian journalist Nyekeh Forkpa said he did not think Mr Johnson should stand in the elections, as the scars from the war remained too fresh.

In 2005, the former warlord was overwhelmingly elected senator for Nimba country.

He is set to run against Liberia's President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, Africa's first democratically elected female leader, and George Weah, a former footballer, in polls scheduled for November 2011.

Liberia's Truth and Reconciliation Commission has recommended that Mr Johnson be banned from holding public office for his role in the war.

Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf
Former financial supporter of
Charles Taylor NPFL rebels 
( Ms Johnson-Sirleaf is now the President of Liberia)
It has said the same about Ms Sirleaf, who has admitted to backing ex-President Charles Taylor, who is currently on trial for war crimes at The Hague.

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Inside Liberia with Bernard Gbayee Goah

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Everyone is a genius

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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