"The April 12 demonstration is intended for the planners to loot, gruesomely exploit the peaceful citizens and to create unsafe environment for huge investments already pumped into the country's economy by foreign investors", Nimba County Senator Prince Y. Johnson told this paper over the week end, while naming several Congress for Democratic Change or CDC officials as the masterminds.
Sen. Johnson who chairs the Senate Statutory Committee on Defense and Security, named two executives of the CDC, National Chairman George Solo and Vice Chairman Mulbah Morlu as 'chief planners' of the April 12, 2013 demonstrations in Monrovia, which he says is intended to disrupt the peace.
Both men have however denied the claims, and instead, taken the Senator to task. The would-be protestors have accused the Johnson-Sirleaf Administration of 'bad governance, including rampant corruption, nepotism, lack of social services and political will to penalize corruption officials.
Speaking to the NewDawn Saturday via mobile phone, Johnson, also Political Leader of the National Union for Democratic Progressive or NUDP described the current leadership of the CDC as a group of troublemakers, noting that the presence of George Solo and Mulbah Morlu in the party is an indication that they are out for serious trouble when Liberians are busy putting their lives together.
"Morlu has been having series of meetings with the expected demonstrators at different venues and if we don't do anything now to stop them, the demonstration will create serious setback for the country. One thing that I know, the April 12 demonstration will be an April fool, and if anything is to happen, I will recommend the arrest of Morlu and Solo to the government for causing such chaotic situation", he said, but Morlu has since denied the claims.
However Johnson further noted that Mulbah Morlu and George Solo are the "bad apples" in the midst of good people in the CDC, who are struggling to build a vibrant political institution.
He stressed that there is no need to stage another April 12 protest here when there are so many options available for Liberians to express their grievances to the government. The infamous April 12, 1980 was the day Liberia experienced a bloody military coup that toppled the government of President Dr. William R. Tolbert.
He said George Solo is trying to use the chairmanship of the CDC to reverse the hideous past between the peoples of Grand Gedeh and Nimba counties, saying "George Solo is trying to pay back on the Nimba people; he was part of the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) that carried out the Lutheran Church's massacre that led to the death of over 15,000 people massively of Nimbaians. This man has no good plan for the CDC."
Johnson noted that CDC Political Leader, George Weah, who is also Peace and Reconciliation Ambassador, has not commented on the planned demonstration, which could indicate his acquiescence. However, Mulbah Morlu has described Senator Johnson's claims as false and only intended to create bluff for himself at the expense of his character.
Morlu admitted that he had participated in over 20 demonstrations, but "This pending demonstration, I have no idea. One thing I must made clear here is that Mr. Johnson's past records [are] hunting him. This man, who is pointing accusing fingers at me and the rest of CDCians is a clear signal that the ghosts of people Senator Johnson killed during the war are hunting him and also that the strongman of Nimba is now suffering mental illness due to the trauma he encountered during the war."
He then challenged Senator Johnson to recommend his arrest to any security institution, saying "Mr. Johnson is a buffoon and he wants to use political debate to bring in tribal sentiment." For his part, George Solo clarified that he has no connection with the AFL and MODEL.
"The only connection I have with the AFL is that my father was once a colonel in the army. I have never been part of any warring faction here, and if Senator Johnson believes that I fought during the war; let him join me to call for the war crime court so that we all can be prosecuted. One thing I must say before leaving you, we will use the citizens' arrest method to arrest Senator Johnson for crimes against humanity and destruction of thousands of people.