Will Pres. Weah Accept Endorsement From Sanctioned Sen. Johnson?
The United States through its embassy in Liberia was clear with its stance in taking action against the government and non-government officials that continue to exploit the people of the country.
Unlike Nathaniel McGill who was sanctioned for his involvement in a wide range of other corrupt schemes including soliciting bribes from government office seekers and misappropriating government assets for his gain, Sayma Syrenius Cephus who worked behind the scenes to establish arrangements with subjects of money laundering investigations to cease investigations to personally benefit financially and Bill Twehway who was also sanctioned for orchestrating the diversion of $1.5 million in vessel storage fee funds from the NPA into a private account, the US also single out Sen. Prince Johnson and Sen. Varney Sherman.
Senator Johnson- a strong supporter in the election that brought President Weah to state power was sanctioned by the United States Department of Treasury for his involvement in “pay-for-play funding” involving Liberia Government Ministries and organizations for personal enrichment.
The sanctions did not fully come as a result of the gross human rights violations that the former rebel “General” of the Independent National Patriotic Front of Liberia (INPFL) meted out to hundreds of innocent civilians who sought refuge in his controlled area during the height of the 1990 civil war.
The United States Government is holding Senator Johnson accountable for massive corruption in a scheme he designed and facilitated in which he blackmails and extracts thousands or even millions of United States dollars from Liberian Political Parties and their leaders in exchange for votes in his corrupt “pay-for-play ” scheme.
In its recent address, the embassy through its ambassador Michael McCarthy reiterated that those involved in doing certain business with sanctioned officials risk being sanctioned themselves.
“I think it’s important to draw our attention back to the Treasury Department’s statement, specifically its notification that persons that engage in certain transactions with these sanctioned individuals “may themselves be exposed to sanctions or subject to an enforcement action.”
The warning does not only implies to government officials that were recently sanctioned, but it also includes rebel leaders, and alleged notorious criminals among others.
Key among them is Senator Prince Johnson of vote-rich Nimba County.
”This applies not only to those who transact with these three individuals but also with the other two individuals sanctioned under Global Magnitsky in recent years: Senator Prince Y. Johnson and Senator Varney Sherman.” US McCarthy said.
The recent move by the United States through the treasury department to take action against individuals doing business with sanctioned officials is said to be a setback to President Weah’s reelection in 2023, especially from the people of Nimba County.
Nimba County, according to the 2008 National Housing and Population Census, had a population of about 462,026. From the National Elections Commission (NEC) 2017 statistics, Nimba had a voting population of 279,601, of this number, 200,791 votes were cast in the county.
Despite the presence of 20 Presidential candidates in that 2017 presidential race, the Unity Party was led by Vice President Joseph Boakai and Senator Weah, who headed the CDC, were inarguably the heavyweights in that election, but still, Senator Johnson was overwhelmingly voted for by kinsmen and women in Nimba.
He attained 107,430 votes of the 200,791 votes that were cast. That constituted 53.5% of the overall votes in the county. The margin between Senator Johnson and Vice President Boakai, who came out second in Nimba was a 67,466 difference. VP Boakai obtained 39,964 votes.
Senator Johnson’s support to Pres. Weah in the second round of the election saw Pres. Weah attains an overwhelming victory in the election.