MONROVIA – Renowned Liberian clergyman Bishop Joseph Gardea Johnson has termed as a “political crime and deception” the cross-carpeting of politicians to various political parties, including the governing Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) of President George Manneh Weah, ahead of the 2023 general and presidential elections.
Bishop Johnson is the Founder and General Overseer of the Restoration Baptist Ministries in Monrovia.
He is regarded for his fearless, unbending and uncompromised stance against bad governance, societal ills and other vices as well as his immense contributions to education, empowerment and service to humanity in the Liberian society.
According to him, some politicians in the country will now be gravitating towards “where the sun is shining”.
Bishop Johnson assertions where contained in a statement posted on his official social media page during the early morning hours of Wednesday, June 22, 2022.
He observed that as the nation and its citizens are gearing up for the next general elections, the “greed for power and relevance is prompting many to act and react for personal interest and not national or institutionalized interest.
“One premium move for such a group of people is CROSSING OVER or SWITCHING. This move is basically backed by the mentality of “hanging your clothes where the sun is shining”.
He observed that flimsy excuses are normally provided by those leaving their political institutions for other parties.
“What most political institutions fail to realize is, a politician Crossing Over from one political party to another during the “EVE” of election is a highly deceptive act. This is not “the man has realized” or “we have conquer a big fish”, no! It is a highly deceptive move prompted by selfish interest and not an institutionalized or national interest”.
“ I see it as and call it a Political Crime and Deceptive Alliance and Allegiance, but some will argue that it’s Politics or the Game of Politics.
Lack of standards
Bishop Johnson pointed out that many political parties in the country lack standards.
As a result of this, politicians leaving from their political parties to join new parties are celebrated.
He said those leaving their respective political institutions for the sake of hanging your clothes “where the sun is shining” are “hustlers” that should not be celebrated.
“The sad part is, due to the lack of standards and principles, compromised stands, and shortage of wisdom and far sightedness, the receiving political party celebrate such moves and believe that they have received honest and loyal comrades instead of hustlers”.
“How come a man who never believed in you when there was nothing to benefit him automatically believes in you when there is something to benefit him and see it as loyalty and considers him a comrade? No, he’s a thief and a wolf in sheep clothing”.
Bishop Johnson further prophesied that “this time around many of those thieves will not be re-elected”.
“Do not say I did warn you like I did the other time. A blind man who refuses to accept that he’s blind, will be exposed by his fall. It is a rat’s eating habit that compels him to eat poison”.
The latest assertions from the tough-talking Baptist Preacher comes barely few days after few lawmakers parted company with their respective political parties and joined the ruling CDC.
They include: MARYLAND COUNTY District One and Unity Party lawmaker P. Mark Jurry and Grand Cape Mount County District Two and Liberty Party (LP) lawmaker Mambu Sonii.
Others are Representative Johnson Gwaikolo of Nimba’s ninth district and Sen. Gblebo Brown (Independent) of Maryland County and Senator Simeon Taylor of the ANC.
“It has been a great honor to contribute to nation-building efforts through our party. Unfortunately, recent developments within our party make it practically impossible to continue participating and making such constructive contributions. I wish to thank you personally for your graciousness and leadership. I wish you well and best of luck in the service of country,” Rep. Sonii said.
FOR REP. JURRY, who announced his decision to join the CDC on Friday evening, said: “I have chosen a route that I consider to be in line with our aspirations and my mantra of taking the country from consumption to production; and that is the Congress for Democratic Change (CDC) which is synonymous with the people, workers, development, and uniting Liberians as one family.”
While Representatives Jurry and Sonii penned a few words to their political parties in acknowledgment of their years spent, Sen. Taylor, FrontPageAfrica has gathered that Senator Taylor didn’t even resign from the ANC or place a phone call to any executive to announce his departure.
His defection to the CDC has taken many aback, particularly the form and manner in which he bashed President George Weah during the 2020 senatorial elections for “his failure to bring back the dividends of democracy to Liberians” since he was elected 2018.
As a matter of fact, Senator Taylor is a beneficiary of the agitations that trailed former Grand Cape Mount County senator Victor Watson’s defection to the CDC two months after he had won as senator in a by-election in which (he) Sen. Taylor first contested.
Senator Taylor at the time criticized his predecessor of “having made a serious mistake” by joining ranks with a party he says was “taking the country backwards”.
Though it remains unclear what prompted Senator Taylor to pitched his tent with the CDC, the Political Leader of the ANC Alexander Cummings expressed serious disappointment over the decision taken by the Grand Cape Mount County Senator who was an executive committee member of the ANC.
He noted that despite the efforts and sacrifices made by the CPP to ensure that Senator Taylor was victorious, executives and partisans remain highly disappointed due to the manner and form in which Senator Taylor left the party.
Senator Taylor’s campaign in the county led to serious blood shed among rivals groups, including some supporters and partisans of the CPP. He and several others suffered violent attacks from his CDC rivals.
His election was also challenged by his arch-rival Victor Watson-a move which prompted the CPP-to galvanize resources and legal support to ensure that he was declared the winner by the Supreme Court of Liberia.
“My perspective on these things is that people will do what they think they need to do. Simon Taylor joining the CDC was disappointing but that is life. Life in Liberia, politics and in the world, people will do what they think is in their interest and again let me say we are disappointed”, Mr. Cummings stated.
He continued: “We are expecting to lose more people between now to the election. However, I promise you, we will gain a significant move between now to election that will bring us victory. So, my focus is not on who left the original bloc, but how we can work now to change the system in our country”.
Ahead of the 2023 general and presidential elections, the ruling CDC would maximize efforts to destabilize the opposition bloc and win over some of its executives and members-bulk of who cannot withstand the test of times or financial inducement.
But in the leeward areas, many of the Representatives seeking re-election would first seek the consent of their respective constituents before accepting an offer or willfully joining the CDC to avoid a Victor Watson’s scenario in 2023.
The decision taken by former Senator Watson to join the CDC without the acquiescence of those who elected him prompted his defeat during the special senatorial election. He ascended to the position following the demise of fallen Senator Edward Dagoseh and took office in December 2019.
Mr. Watson is considered as the shortest serving Senator in the history of the post-conflict nation.