PYJ : I Regret The War
Former Field Marshall, Prince Y. Johnson, of the erstwhile Independent National Patriotic Front of Liberia (INPFL) (an offshoot of Charles Taylor NPFL) says he regrets the death of the over 300,000 during the rebellion.
Johnson, 59, told a news conference Friday in Monrovia that in addition to the destruction of lives and properties many of his country men and women were forced to seek refuge elsewhere, this is something he also regretted.
Sen. Johnson, the political leader of the National Union for Democratic Progress comments come several days after he vowed to maintain the same set of disciplinary measures he instituted during the civil war against corrupt government officials if elected president.
The conference was intended to react to negative reportage about him (Johnson), which he claimed dominated the headlines of local newspapers here. He singled out this paper (The New Dawn), The New Democrat and the National Chronicle newspapers of not reporting good but bad things referring to him as “notorious criminal”.
“Though many countries around the world have had civil war, but whenever two elephants fight it is the grass that suffers. And that was what happened here during the 1990s. I regretted the war that has kept our country backward and made people to take their heels seeking safety”, Johnson off-loaded.
The ex-INPFL leader, on the other hand boasted that their action was in defense of the regime. However, he was not specific as to which regime(s) they were defending. “During my 4-year stayed on the war scene from 1989-1992, no rebel faction provided food to the Liberian people beside me.”
He advanced furthered that those bad days were over and the time had come for peace to rein. “Therefore, I am appealing to you to engage mostly in reconciliatory reporting rather than yellow journalism. Because the more negative reporting you carry out on me, the more I am strengthened. As you (report more), God continue to blessed me”, he said.
Prince Johnson is perhaps best known or famous for his role in the arrest, tortured and death of former President Samuel K. Doe and many others here. It was Prince Johnson’s INPFL forces (an offshoot from the Charles Taylor’s NPFL) that ultimately captured, tortured and killed Doe on 9 September 1990.
In a video recorded by a Palestinian Journalist from then the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) which was widely circulated among Liberians in the Diasporas and elsewhere, Prince Johnson was seen drinking a budweiser beer as his soldiers mutilated Doe, who begs for his life before being killed.
After his relationship with Charles Taylor deteriorated, Prince Johnsons, fearing for his life, fled to Nigeria in the heat of “Operation Octopus” on Monrovia by the NPFL in October 1992. In March of 2004, Johnson returned to Liberia and was subsequently elected senator for his home town, Nimba County in 2005 elections.
Johnson was born in Nimba County in 1952 and was brought up by an uncle in Monrovia. While living in Monrovia, in 1971, he joined the Liberian National Guard (LNG) which was transformed into the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) in the aftermath of the 1980 coup since when his life became that of the barracks.
He rose to the rank of Lieutenant, and benefitted from military training in Liberia and United States. Johnson had been trained in military police duties in South Carolina, USA, and was a stern, often draconian, disciplinarian.
Johnson became aide to the late General Thomas G. Quiwonkpa, but deserted the army after the flight of Quiwonkpa in 1983 and was reportedly associated with the 1985 abortive invasion that was led by his former boss, Quiwonkpa.
As though destiny propelled him onto dangerous planes, Johnson allegedly participated in the assassination of Captain Thomas Sankara, former President of Burkina Faso in 1987 and then joined the NPFL which Special Forces he commanded during the incursion in December 1989.
Johnson says he is ready to transform Liberia, taking it from a unitary to a federal state if elected. He told a congregation of the newly established Remedy Carpel International on 18 Street Sunday that some unnamed politicians were engaging in medicine and occultism just to win the upcoming election.