-WONGOSOL Boss describes recent incident at Senator Johnson’s church
By: Jerromie S. Walters
Mrs. Eyeah David Yango, the Executive Director of the Women’s NGO Secretariat of Liberia (WONGOSOL), has strongly condemned and described the recent incident at Senator Prince Johnson’s church as a threat to the peace and stability of the Liberian state.
According to the NGO’s boss, the disruption at the church of Senator Johnson by individuals who referred to themselves as members of the NPP is one that has the proclivity to undermine the peace Liberians now enjoy.
“This incident has the propensity to disrupt the fragile peace we have,” Mrs. Eyeah David Yango narrated in a Facebook post.
Conspicuously, she sees it as a complete contradiction to the recent Farmington Declaration that was signed by political actors to abstain from acts of violence before, during, and after the 2023 general elections.
“After the signing of the Farmington Declaration on April 4th, 2023, we expect all parties, including the ruling position, to abide by and uphold the peace, she wrote.
Mrs. Yango, through her organization, has been consistent with her quest to ensure a safe space for women and girls, as well as the sustainability of the peace in Liberia.
Recently, she reassured her commitment to this process: “Each day, violence is perpetrated against a child or a woman in Liberia. We can’t remain silent; we are consistent and unwavering in our actions”.
The religious edifice of former warlord, now politician and cleric, Prince Y. Johnson, was a horrific scene for his comfort, his members, and guests as well, as a group that claimed to be the youth wing of the National Patriotic Party (NPP) stormed the church and disrupted normal activities.
The NPP, led by ex-Liberian president Charles Ghankay Taylor, is a constituent party of the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC).
It is currently headed by Taylor’s former wife and current Vice President, Jewel Howard Taylor.
On Sunday, May 21, 2023, during the normal worship service of the Christ Chapel of Faith Church of Senator Prince Y. Johnson, members of the “NPP Youth Wing’, dressed in their NPP and CDC regalia, holding banners and placards, and chanting anti-PYJ slogans, stormed the church’s compound and disrupted normal service.
They chanted war crimes court slogans and left Senator Johnson and his wife stranded for some time in the church’s compound before leaving.
Senator Johnson left the pulpit and went out, but after an attempt to calm the crowd down failed, he was asked by church members to go back to service.
The group said they had gathered to protest against Senator Johnson’s “planned outburst against Vice President Jewel Howard Taylor, as well as his continued misuse of the pulpit to denigrate President Weah and his officials.”
VP Howard-Taylor recently warned Liberians that a victory for the Unity Party’s standard bearer, Amb. Joseph Nyumah Boakai, and his running mate, Senator Jeremiah Koung, in the October polls might land Senator Johnson the presidency.
VP. Howard-Taylor said it is an open secret that the former Vice President has a fragile health condition, and if elected president, he might die in office. And when that happens, Senator Prince Johnson will run the show instead of Senator Koung, who is being dubbed Johnson’s “political godson.”
At an abrupt news conference after the incident, Senator Prince Johnson described it as unfortunate and unhealthy for Liberia’s democracy and stated with strong confidence that it was masterminded by officials of the CDC government.
He alleged that the group from the NPP was sent by its political leader, VP Jewel Howard Taylor, and Monrovia City Mayor Jefferson T. Koijee.
“From what I heard one of them saying, it’s Jewel Howard Taylor who instructed them, along with Koijee, to come and disrupt the church, fight us, and wound the people; I’m the target,” he said.
The Nimba County Senator further alleged that he was warned days ago by an EPS officer to strengthen his security because the Vice President and Mayor of the City of Monrovia are making plans to assassinate him.
Hours after the disruption on Sunday, former Vice President Joseph Nyuma Boakai condemned the act and emphasized that such lawless and violent conduct should be repudiated by all Liberians on every side of the political spectrum.
“Fellow Liberians, a few hours ago we sadly witnessed a group of young people believed to be acting under the banner of the National Patriotic Party (NPP) violently besiege the Christ Chapel of Faith Ministry of Evangelist Prince Y. Johnson and unfortunately disrupt normal church service”.
He continued, “I must say that such a brazen act of thuggery is without a shred of doubt reprehensible, inconceivable, unacceptable, and sheer provocation. And it is shameful that such lawlessness is done in the name of Vice President Jewel Howard Taylor, said to be a lawyer, who by oath bears greater responsibility to uphold the rule of law and respect the constitutional rights of others.
In addition to the voice of the former Vice President and several other prominent individuals’ voices, Mrs. Eyeah David Yango is also unpleasant about the act, as she believes it’s worrisome.
Mrs. Eyeah David Yango is the Executive Director of the Women NGO Secretariat of Liberia and a passionate, committed, and effective Liberian who has been relentlessly effectuating efforts for decades to ensure a safe space for women and girls, as well as a peaceful Liberia.
She leads WONGOSOL, which is a secretariat that supports over 104 women’s organizations throughout Liberia through programs that support gender equality and women’s empowerment in Liberia.
Mrs. Eyeah David Yango has been proactive in striving for a just and fair Liberia where women and men equally participate in and benefit from decision-making processes at all levels and in all areas of society.
The Women’s NGO Secretariat of Liberia (WONGOSOL) was established as an organ for coordinating the activities of women’s organizations in Liberia in 1998.
They coordinate the activities of women’s organizations in Liberia and bring women together to formulate and present their independent views on government issues directly affecting women in Liberia.
The institution, which is being led by Mrs. Yango, has a membership of over 150 network members in the 15 political subdivisions of Liberia, and its membership categories within the 15 counties encompass community-based organizations (CBOs), faith-based organizations (FBOs), and non-governmental organizations (NGOs).
Additionally, the NGO’s details provide that they are called to build the capacity of women’s NGOs and CBOs to promote sustainable peace and security.
With this, they envision a just and fair Liberian society where women and men equally participate in and benefit from decision-making processes at all levels in all areas.
WONGOSOL seeks to consolidate the maximum utilization of the resources of women’s organizations through cooperation in order to improve efficiency and avoid duplication of efforts.