Liberia: Executive Mansion Responds

7 August 2019

The Executive Mansion through Deputy Presidential Press Secretary Smith Toby has for the first time reacted to recent statements made by Nimba County Senator Prince Y. Johnson.

Senator Johnson told his congregation on Sunday, August 4, 2019, that he would be traveling to Nigeria to consult with his spiritual God father Bishop T.B. Joshua whether he should continue his support to President Dr. George Manneh Weah or not.

The Nimba County Senator claimed that the President is now in bed with people who were opposed to his presidency during the election campaign.

In his sermon, Sen. Johnson said, "You're now the President but your regime from its beginning is characterized by so, so demonstrations, so, so trouble, why? Are we asking ourselves why? Are you asking yourself why it is so? Yesterday Country Giant moving, opposition gives way.

The people are now saying, they're calling us, all of us country devil; why?"

Johnson used his pulpit to tell President Weah to "stop witnessing Chelsea and Barcelona games. You've been set aside to lead."

He said the people who overwhelmingly supported and voted for Weah feel betrayed by their neglect by the Weah-led administration.

Senator Johnson further questioned why would the people of New Kru Town who were very supportive of Weah and recently benefitted from the construction of concrete structures for inhabitants of zinc shacks gutted by fire in the area as gesture from Weah voted massively against his CDC candidate.

But Toby said the Nimba County lawmaker is entitled to his views as a statesman which the president respects.

He said Senator Johnson is one person who has open access to the president and can engage him any time on issues he raises.

Toby said the president believes Senator Johnson just wants for his government to succeed; as such, being a listening president, he will listen to the Nimba County strongman.

He said the president and Senator Johnson are good friends who have come a long way in their political sojourn.

Toby said Senator Johnson has been a supportive arm of the president and government, adding "everyone wants to see the good side of this government."

He acknowledged that the Nimba County lawmaker gave his support to the ascendancy of this government, noting that "no one wants to give their support to an institution or individual and in the midst of crisis turns their backs... he has spoken, though not everything he said is a fact or true... "

Toby said the president does not see Senator Johnson's statement as a threat but in good faith, considering that he spoke his mind.

He said Senator Johnson is one person who has always spoken his mind and is always clear on issues, with his latest comments being no surprise.

"Like he said, he wants to see this government succeeds, and all he's doing is to help this government to succeed, so the president will listen like he has always done... what is about criticism that the president will not take? People who run away from criticism will always run into problem... "

He said the president is opened to positive criticisms and he takes them in good faith which helps him to take decisions in the interest of the country.

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