Claim: Abu Sherif, a Liberian journalist, claimed, “Prince Johnson Could not Get at least 50% of the total Registered Votes in Nimba County.
Verdict: False! “Senator Prince Johnson won more than 50% of the total registered votes in Nimba County.
With less than six months to Liberia’s presidential and legislative elections, there are alignments, realignments, and cross-carpeting of politicians in the country.
The latest is Nimba County, Senator Prince Y. Johnson, who has defected from the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) to the opposition Unity Party.
In 2017, Senator Prince Y. Johnson supported the then-opposition Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) and pledged the support of Nimba County to the CDC but has since disclosed that he regrets his action.
It seems the relationship has gone sour between both parties, with Senator Prince Johnson accusing the CDC-led administration of a plot to assassinate him.
The Nimba County Senator is the founding father of the opposition Movement for Democracy and Reconstructions (MDR), now in a political marriage with the Unity Party of former Vice President of Liberia, Amb. Joseph Nyumah Boakai.
Before defecting to the Unity Party, Senator Johnson is on record to have attacked the former Liberian vice president, taunting him to retire from politics in the country, as seen here.
There have been mixed reactions to the Senator’s decision to defect to the Unity Party.
Abu Sherif, a Liberian journalist and a radio talk show host on “The Freedom Morning Rise,” aired on Freedom FM/TV, has been critical of Senator Johnson’s decision.
According to him, Senator Johnson should not be taken seriously.
On the May 10, 2023, edition of his show, he claimed that the Nimba County Senator could not be regarded as the godfather of the county because he could not even get at least 50% of the total registered votes in Nimba County.
The show was live on the institution’s official Facebook page with over 60 comments, 30 shares, 65 emojis and 1.2k views.
Abu Sherif claimed at 1:32:20 – 42 hours/minutes/seconds.
Abu acknowledged that though Senator Johnson supported the CDC in 2017, his support did not add anything to the victory of President Weah. He described Senator Johnson as a liability to the CDC because of his track record of being a warlord.
Abu added, “Prince is not the godfather of Nimba; the number does not say that. Prince Johnson did not bring anything in terms of numbers to George Weah, and he is not taking anything from George Weah because he still struggles to maintain his over one hundred thousand votes.”
Senator Prince Johnson is a former warlord in Liberia who participated in the country’s civil unrest that lasted for over 14 years but is now a Senator of Nimba County, the largest county in the country. He is also regarded as the county’s political godfather.
Senator Prince Johnson is currently under sanction by the United States government, which has since blacklisted him.
Based on the importance of the claim made by journalist Abu Sherif and the controversy it has generated so far ahead of the elections, DUBAWA feels obligated to verify the claim.
In 2017, while serving as Senator of Nimba County, Senator Prince Johnson contested for the country’s highest office, the Presidency. He came fourth with 127,666 votes amounting to 8% in the country.
In Nimba, where Senator Prince Johnson hails from and serves as its seated Senator, he came first among the 20 presidential candidates with 107,430 votes constituting 53.5% of the total registered voters in the county. There were 214,200 total votes, 200,791 were valid votes, and 13,409 were invalid votes in the county.
DUBAWA also reached out to the claimant to establish the exact context in which he made the claim.
Sherif said, “I was talking to Nimba as a community of nation beyond the political borders of Nimba County. However, when the senator claims he’s the godfather of the people, my point was in such capacity 50% of support is insufficient and that at least a 60-70% claim would suffice.”
Here are screenshots between DUBAWA and Sherif.
Following the research conducted by DUBAWA and based on the facts available on the website of the National Elections Commission of Liberia (NEC), the radio talk show host’s claim made against Senator Prince Johnson is false