E. J. Nathaniel Daygbor
Former INPFL rebel leader now Standard Bearer of the opposition National Union for Democratic Progress or NUDP, Senator Prince Johnson, is upset by recent disclosure by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of plans to bring in more troops from Nigeria for the pending general and presidential elections, alarming that the president's decision indicates threatening signals of an impending danger, ahead of the polls.
President Sirleaf, who returned from Abuja, Federal Republic of Nigeria Tuesday, told her Unity Party partisans recently prior to leaving the country that she was on her way to Nigeria to ask her counterpart Jonathan Goodluck for additional troops to be deployed here to avoid violence during the upcoming elections.
"You already know that Nigerian soldiers don't joke; right, I am going to Nigeria to negotiate for Nigerian soldiers to come here for the elections", the President told her UP partisans. But Johnson has maintained that the decision of the President without consulting the National Legislature clearly violates the Liberian Constitution, adding that those troops will be considered as mercenaries.
He said though it is within the President's preview to drive the Foreign Policy of Liberia, but the Constitution calls for consultation with the Legislature, and failure to do so threatens the peace and stability of the country.
Speaking recently in Monrovia, Johnson stressed that it beats the imagination of every Liberian for President Sirleaf to move in that direction outside of the United Nations, ECOWAS and other international partners.
He said the President and her governing Unity Party are bringing in the Nigerians to provide her protection during the electoral process and subsequently impose her on the Liberian people if she loses the presidency.
"We understand these tactics; the President knows that she will not win a free, fair and transparent election, so she's bringing those soldiers to protect her and dictate to us in our elections. These are troubling and threatening signals for us, the opposition", said the NUDP Standard Bearer.
According to him, Liberia presently enjoys the presence of 7,000 UNMIL military personnel and 3,000 UN police, assisted by the newly trained Liberian National Police and the Armed Forces of Liberia, including other security apparatus.
"So, it makes no sense to bring another troop outside UNMIL arraignment because these officers will only be loyal to the President and we will not be able to prosecute them under our law because the law is not aware of their presence here", he added.
According to the leader of the defunct Independent National Patriotic Front of Liberia (INPFL), President Sirleaf has already noticed the sound of defeat, and was now planning and designing strategies to impose herself on the Liberian people, saying "The plans will be fully implemented with support from the imported Nigerian troops on the ground."