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Senator PYJ, Which Way?

Atty Philip N. Wesseh (PNW)

I obtained a bachelor degree in Mass Communication, with honors from the University of
Liberia few years ago. Besides, I have been in the field of journalism, which is a subset of Mass communication for over 38 years. In fact, this month, May 2020, made me 37 years in mainstream journalism, especially the print. It was based on this that this week in a four-page article, that I reflected my entry into the profession and also some of those I interacted with or worked with in the newsroom, some of whom have leapfrogged into high positions in some fields or professions, not necessarily the journalism profession.

More importantly, I covered the three branches of the Liberian government as a reporter and editor for years and as such, I have a comprehensive understanding of the MODUS OPERANDI of these institutions as I reported on their activities, statements and comments of individuals in those branches. It is from this issue of comments and statements that I have decided to dwell on today.

In addition, I am aware how some people in high positions are held in high esteem by some members of the public or those they represent, like at the National Legislature. Some of these individuals command the respect of some members of the public and are also considered as role models or mentors.

My focus today would be that of Nimba County Senior Senator Prince Y. Johnson, concerning his relationship or support to President George Manneh Weah. But let me say that when I decided to do this piece, I was reminded of a candid advice from my late grandmother while growing up as a child in NYUAPANTOH, near Bishop Grandoe’s Church in the Borough of Kru Town.

I still recall that the old lady, perhaps foreseeing that I would be part of “LISTERNER,” as newspaper was referred to those days, said whenever I speak of older people or people in high places, I should be careful with my choice of words and dictions.

It is based on this as I embark on this journey today about this senator who is adored by his people, that I would try to pay heed to what my late grandmother told me so that her soul rest in peace. As such, comments or statements from them should be done in a way and manner that would not cause stir or confusion in the minds of the general.

On the issue at bar, as the lawyers would say; few days ago it was reported that Senator Prince Johnson said that he supported President George Weah for the Presidency because he knowingly and intentionally wanted the Liberian people to “SUFFER”. Interestingly, on Thursday morning, I was awakened to a LBS newscast that the same Senator who made damaging statement about the President, has again, renewed his support to the very President.

Frankly, it is this inconsistency on the part of the Senator that I, as a student of communication, I am concerned about. As it is said in Liberia, one cannot say one thing today and say another thing tomorrow.

Leaders who command the respect of some members of the public must be careful about what they put out for public consumption. It is an indisputable fact that this Senator, in view of the election results from his county, has a large following who can be moved to act whether positively or negatively by what he says or does. Public office is a serious institution, therefore, those who find themselves, like the Senator should be careful and mindful of what they say.

One does not need a rocket scientist to pinpoint the fact that the Senator’s campaign in his county helped to galvanize support for now President Weah over others in the county. Now to come out to say that he did this for the people to suffer, should be considered as the biggest betrayal on the part of any politician, as Senator Johnson finds himself today.

Sometimes some people say one should “not trust or rely on politician,” these are some of the things they take into consideration, which is mainly inconsistency for whatever reason. Certainly, I do not agree with this statement because there are politicians who can be trusted and are consistent.

To Senator Johnson, let me say, you are a ‘’big man’’ who commands respect in this society and whatever you say carries weight; therefore, let your yea be yea and your nay be nay.

I Rest My Case

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