LIBERIA: ‘Wrong Precedence for the Nation and Its People’ …NLP Political Leader describes Resignation of New Defense Minister and Its Acceptance

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On the heel of the sudden resignation of the Minister of Defense, Retired Major/General Prince C. Johnson III amid mounting pressure from wives of Armed Forces of Liberia(AFL) men, the political leader of the opposition New Liberia Party says this is not a good sign of the nation, especially for a government that just took over the helm of authority.

Newly confirmed Defense Johnson on Monday, February 12, 2024 succumbed to continuing protests by women said to be wives of men in arm of the Liberian army by tendering in his resignation to President Joseph Nyuma Boakai.

In a statement issued on Tuesday, February 13, 2024, Rev. Dr. Joshua Tom Turner, who contested the October 10, 2023 Presidential Elections on the ticket of the NLP, says he sees the resignation of the new minister and subsequent acceptance by the President as wrong precedence for the nation and its people.

According to the NLP Standard Bearer, the wives of several security apparatuses might one day be politically motivated and use similar path to ride on the weakness of the government.

“From the angle of the New Liberia Party, we see this as a bad precedence and weakness on the part of the government, most especially the President to succumb the constitution to claims that were not independently verified through any proper investigative means. It was last evening that the President announced a probe into the matter,” states the NLP SB.

“This is a show of early weakness from this government. It’s too early to bow into this. With this bad precedence, the wives of personnel of different security institutions could follow similar trend and protest against the constitutional power of the President,” he notes.

At the same time, Dr. Turner points out that the early retirements of two of Liberia’s best military brains and technocrats as a sign of slow demise to the nation’s military might.

Among other things, the Liberian clergyman and politician indicates that the retirees are way below retirement age.

For almost a week now, a group of Liberian women under the banner, “Army Wives Association of Liberia” blocked major entries across the country, demanding the President to dismiss former Chief of Staff and recently confirmed Defense Minister, Prince Charles Johnson.

A few days ago, the wives of the men in the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) petitioned the Liberian Senate through its Committee on Defense, Security, Intelligence and Veteran Affairs, calling on the body not to confirm then Defense Minister designate due to his alleged corruption scandals and other grave issues.

Johnson was however confirmed thus intensifying the protest actions by the women; something which heavily impeded the movement of vehicles and citizens on Monday, February 12, 2024.

In the wake of the growing tension, the Executive Mansion reported that the President and Commander-in-Chief of the AFL, Joseph Boakai received and accepted the resignation letter from Mr. Johnson.

The resigned Minister stated that his decision is triggered by the current political and civil disturbances occasioned by the protest of women believed to be wives of servicemen.

“In his letter, the Minister of National Defense outlined his reasons for his action noting that due to the current political and civil disturbances occasioned by the protest of women believed to be wives of servicemen, he made the decision to resign and preserve the peace and security of the State,” the statement noted.

In response, the Liberian leader expressed gratitude to Minister Johnson for his invaluable service to the country and described him as a patriot.

At the same time, President Boakai instructed the Armed Forces of Liberia to ensure all those impeding the free movement of people and vehicles through actions that blocked major thoroughfares across the country to immediately remove themselves and allow the government to resolve their grievances.

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