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Running from Justice: Prez Sirleaf an Inductee Like Me, Ex-Warlord Gives Reason for Backing Incumbent in Runoff

Monrovia- Ex-warlord, who came third place in the presidential polls in last Tuesday election, a position which placed him as a kingmaker when the final tally was announced, on Monday decided to cast his lot with the ruling Unity Party to support incumbent President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf in the runoff to take place on November 8, 2011.

The ex-warlord speaking in his stronghold of Nimba County when he met with local chiefs, said he went to meet and  inform them that he is backing President Ellen Johnson-Sireaf and the Unity Party in the runoff. Ex-warlord, the standard bearer of the National Union for Democratic Progress (NUDP), an opposition party under which he ran in the election told the local chiefs that he was giving his support to incumbent President Sirleaf  because she is an inductee like him and feels comfortable supporting her knowing she won’t implement the TRC recommendations. He also told the local chiefs that he is demanding 30% of the government if she wins.

Senator Johnson further said the standard bearer of the Congress for Democratic Change  (CDC), Cllr Winston Tubman who  is going along with President’s Sirleaf  in the runoff, says he will fully implement all the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) ,  therefore he could not support him because he could be prosecuted and sent to the Hague  for his role in the Liberia civil war  if the CDC wins.

President Sirleaf and the ex-warlord Prince Johnson were both indicted by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission for their roles in the 14 year civil war. President Sirleaf along with 50 other Liberians  is barred from holding public office for 30 years for financing the civil war while Senator Johnson is recommended for prosecution for war crimes and crimes against humanity.

President ignored the TRC report which by law is binding yet she is seeking re-election dispite being barred from holding public office for 30 years

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) was set up by law and mandated to look into the cause surrounding the civil war and other conflicts from 1979 to 2003 and make recommendations including pardoning those who showed remorse  for their actions and recommend prosecution and other punitive measures for individuals and institutions found unrepentant for their role and prosecution for those  committed war crimes and crimes against humanity.

The marriage between President Sirleaf and the ex-warlord is a bizarre and intriguing  one,  an ex-warlord running from justice for waging war and committing atrocities, finds shelter and shield of protection from a Nobel Peace Prize Laureate who too is an inductee barred from holding public office for 30 years but both are band together as former comrades in rebellion and destruction of their country to invade  justice and harvest impunity cloned in the cocoon of power.

The ex-warlord justification for supporting the president in the runoff is  elusive and hypocritical  indicating he is unstable and unpredictable because he promised during his campaigning to implement the TRC recommendations if elected.

The NUDP standard bearer decision to support president Sirleaf in the runoff has sparked disagreement in his party with the party’s Executive Committee giving him 48 hours from Wednesday to report to the party to show reason of his unilateral decision to endorse the president and her Unity party without the consultation and input of the party. Senator Johnson has been directed by the party to desist from conducting any business in the name of the party until as such time he reports to the party and disagreement on his unilateral endorsement is resolved and the party’s restriction on him lifted. The ex-warlord is accused of being bought over by the president for the amount of US$25 million and US$250,000.00 was already transferred into his account before declaring his public support, a pre-condition he insisted on.

In discussion with a prominent discussion with Senator Johnson who too is infuriated with his unilateral action said why should the ex-warlord day dream that President cannot send him to the Hague when he sat in the country and saw her give up Charles Taylor, the main leader the arm insurgent National Patriotic Front of Liberia (NPFL)  which he broke away from to form the Independent National Patriotic Front of Liberia (INPFL), his arm  group which barbarically cut of the eyes of President Doe before the lenses of camera. “President Sirleaf will give up Senator Johnson just as she did Charles Taylor against he promise to Taylor loyalists in 2005 when she promised them not to hand him over if they had supported her to win the elections”, but what happened, she gave Taylor up, a prominent supporter of the ex-warlord narrated.

“President Sirleaf has never lived up to her promises through out her political life; she only manipulates, divides and uses people against each other and then feels on those cleavages”, an observer said. The president if she wins, “will be forced to give up the Senator because of the moral imperative and pressure she will be under by the virtue of being a Nobel Peace Prize Laureate”, a prominent supporter of the Senator told this outlet.




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