25 June 2012

Liberia: PYJ Chair Claims Murder Attempt

The sour relations between the political leader of the National Union for Democratic Progress Senator Prince Y. Johnson and top NUDP executives continue to take various dimensions, with Johnson repeatedly being accused of orchestrating one act or another.

The party Chairman Gbawou Kowou had earlier accused the political leader of unilaterally taking decisions, and therefore, expressing lack of confidence in the Johnson leadership.

But investigation conducted by the National Election Commission subsequently cleared Johnson of any wrongdoing.

Now, the Secretary General of the NUDP has accused Johnson of masterminding an assassination attempt on the life of Chairman Kowou, but Johnson has described the claim as a blatant lie intended to tarnish his reputation in the society.

Gontee Meddrices disclosed that Kowou's car was shot at by unknown gunmen, who he suspected are from Senator Johnson's camp.

He said the incident occurred last week Wednesday in Congo Town around the Zone#3 Police Depot where Johnson illegally moved the party headquarters.

Meddrices accused Johnson of ordering his boys to shoot at the vehicle of Gbawou's in an attempt to kill him.

"It was Prince Johnson, who ordered his boys to kill Gbawou, but they were unfortunate; the gun never hit him; I am the one who is saying it; I am not afraid to say it; he ordered his boys to do the firing," Gontee said. He told the New Dawn in an interview that Senator Johnson usually issues threats against them because he wants to run the party unilaterally.

Gontee said Johnson had also threatened to burn his (Gontee's) house. "Prince Johnson threatened to burn my house and send people to kill me before; he even threatened to go after Gbawou and our River Gee and Bong counties party chairmen," he added.

He said Johnson will be held accountable for anything that happens to him (Meddrices) or Chairman Gbawou Kowou because of the alleged threats. Chairman Gbawou declined to provide detail on grounds that the matter is before the police, but confirmed that his car was shot at by unknown gunmen. Mr. Johnson has threatened to take Meddrices and his accomplices to court for smearing his character.

"Gbawou and his boys fabricated the story. They are mad; it is intended to malign my character; the allegation is intended to paint me black in the public. I will send them to court for damaging my high earned reputation," he told the New Dawn via mobile phone Sunday.

The vehicle allegedly involved in the incident is currently packed behind the Ministry of Finance. The police commander at the zone three depot told reporters Gbawou formally reported the incident to the police last Wednesday, but later took away the vehicle after the police were unable to establish which type of bullet was used or who did the firing.

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