The war of words between Nimba County Senior Senator, Prince Yormie Johnson and Grand Gedeh County Senior Senator, Isaac Nyanabo, escalated during plenary in the chamber of the Liberian Senate last Thursday, February 23.
At issue is persistent rumors alleging the training of “rebels” along the Liberian Ivorian borders with Grand Gedeh. It is unknown under whose canopy is the alleged training going on, or the identity/nationality of those involved, or their motives, if at all, it is true.
News of the alleged rebel training has reportedly been circulating in the Liberian media for quit a while now, but during last Thursday’s Plenary session, Grand Gedeh County Senior Senator, Isaac Nyenabo tried to put the rumors to rest.
During the Senate’s deliberation, Senator Nyenabo categorically denied and dismissed the rumors as nothing, but “false and misleading” and an attempt designed to “create a devilish image of the great people of Grand Gedeh County.”
Senator Nyenabo maintained that “the people of Grand Gedeh are peace loving, but security-minded people who will never shield any evil doer at the detriment of the county’s own existence as part of the political sub-divisions of Liberia.
“If anything of such existed, the leadership of that county, will be the first to alarm for immediate action.” He stressed adding, “Grand Gedeans who were here during the entire era of bitterness experienced during the fourteen (14) years of unrest, will not facilitate or create corridor for rebellion.” He assured.
“We will not encourage and have not encouraged any group of people to use our land for preparedness to host people who are training to destroy our country and any nation in this sub-region.” He further described the rumors as a “black lie.”
No sooner had Senator Nyenabo taken his seat after delivering what Political Analysts described as these “very strongly worded remarks,” then Nimba County Senior Senator and former rebel leader, turned “Senator” B/Gen. Prince Yormie Johnson, took to the Senate flood.
The Nimba County Senior Senator instead called on the President and Commander-In-Chief of the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL), Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, to “investigate the matter promptly to avoid future crisis.”
Senator Johnson maintained that “although rumors of the alleged training of rebels are a mere speculation at the moment that has yet to be fully confirmed, in the Liberian setting, rumors always bear some iota of truth.”
“The issue of rebels training in Grand Gedeh County, should not be taken lightly by this government because we know the military capability of Grand Gedeh.” The Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) former Army Brigadier General Prince Yormie Johnson, warned.
“Let all intelligence and tactical efforts be carried out by this government, through our Commander-In-Chief to speedily and amicably resolve the matter.” He urged. ”Where there is smoke, there is always fire.” Senator Johnson reminded his senate colleagues.
The Nimba County Senior Senator indicated that “the country and its people may find it very challenging if the relevant authority reneges on this matter. The situation may soon become worse if the information is actually established to be true.” He alarmed.
Since the rumors surfaced and was reported by the Liberian media both Senior Senators Nyenabo and Johnson have reportedly being at each other’s throats concerning the truthfulness of the rumors.
As a result, Gbarplu County Senior Senator, Theodore Momo intervened by calling on the Senate Plenary to speedily handle the matter to according to him, “avoid further tussle between the two senators.”
However, Political Observers classified Senator Momo’s assertions that the Plenary speedily handles the matter to “avoid further tussle between the two Senators” as minimizing, (reducing) and treating a very serious matter as a tussle between just two Senators.
Meanwhile the Leadership of the Liberian Senate, has promised to commence hearings “at the leadership level,” in the reported allegations or “rebel training” in Grand Gedeh County. It is unknown what “hearings at the leadership level” means.
Both Nyenabo and Johnson were elected Senior Senators of their respective counties of Grand Gedeh and Nimba in 2005. Senator Nyenabo was elected on the ticket of the National Democratic Party of Liberia (NDPL), while Senator Johnson was elected on the ticket of his National Union for Democratic Progress (NUDP).
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