By Alex Yomah
Nimba County longest serving senator, Prince Yormie Johnson, has officially relinquished his position as Chairperson of the Committee on National Defense, Intelligence, Security and Veterans Affairs in the Liberian Senate; post he won on white ballot.
In his communication, Senator Johnson intimated that he had to take a decision he considers ‘hard’ because as a senator, he does not want Liberia’s traditional partner, United States of America to withhold support for Liberia because of him.
“Our traditional partner, for more than two centuries, has resolved not to support the Committee as long as I am the chair. Liberia is bigger than a one man. The army which is my alma mater needs support at this critical time of our national recovery,” the former warlord stated in the official communication of his resignation.
“I will never want to stand in the way of support to our army in particular and Liberia in general. In the same vain, I equally cannot afford to put the Honorable Liberian Senate at odds with them in ways that will improve relations and foster national development,” Senator Johnson indicated.
PYJ, as he is affectionately called, applauded his colleagues at the Liberian Senate and members of the Committee on National Defense, Intelligence, Security and Veterans Affairs for the support and time of service.
The communication for plenary but addressed to Senate Pro-Temp, Albert Chie, Senator Johnson said his resignation was triggered by the request of constituency based in Montserrado and Nimba which include elders and other stakeholders that he resigns for the sake of Liberia.
“Over the past weeks, my residence, both here in Monrovia and Nimba have been inundated by high profile visits of the chiefs and elders of Nimba and other stakeholders comprising of broad spectrum of the people who have twice elected me to represent them at this Legislature. They have never questioned my suitability and capacity to continue to serve them,” the letter indicated.
The United States Embassy near Monrovia some time ago issued a strong worded statement calling on the Liberian Senate to ensure that Senators Prince Johnson and Varney Sherman do not hold any integrity position in that august body.
The US Embassy described Sen. Johnson as a “Notorious killer” and that his presence on the leadership especially on a committee like security could undermine the citizens’ quest for the establishment of a War and Economic Crimes Court.
In the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s reports, Sen. Johnson is captured in the category of notorious perpetrators and outlined his crimes as “Killing, extortion, Massacre, destruction, of property, forced recruitment, assault, abduction, torture & forced labor and rape.”
The US statement also repel against the Senate’s Chairman on Judiciary Committee, Cllr. Varney Sherman reportedly because of the allegation levied against him in its Treasury Department Report on corruption and bribery thereby confiscating his assets that are in the United States of America.