Addressing a well attended press conference at his Capitol Building Office today, the indicted Speaker of the House of Representatives, Alex J. Tyler has vowed not to listen to those who are asking him to recues himself from presiding over session despite of calls from his colleagues and the public.
Over the past months members of the Houses of Representatives have been divided following the indictment of their Speaker in the Stable Mining bribery saga, with some calling on him to recues himself from the throne of the speakership until he is exonerated from the allegation leveled against him in the Global Witness report where several others were indicted of receiving bribes from the Stable Mining Limited.
But for other members of that august body also considered as Pro-Tyler are resisting the recusal of their Speaker noting that it his rights to hold until he is proved guilty of the allegation leveled against.
As infighting continues at the House of Representatives over stance by some lawmakers to ask Speaker Alex J. Tyler to recues himself from presiding over the House of Representatives until a criminal indictment against him drawn up by the state is resolved, a strong voice of Nimba County, Senator Prince Y. Johnson alias PYJ is calling on all nine Lawmakers from the county to sign the resolution for Speaker Tyler to recuse himself and face the court.
Senator Johnson speaking to a local radio station said the removal of Speaker Tyler is a good effort for the purpose of fighting corruption.
PYJ who was ousted from the National Union for Democratic Progress (NUDP”, where he served as its presidential candidate in 2011, managing third spot behind eventual winner President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and Cllr. Winston Tubman of the Congress for Democratic Change (CDC), said he has established a new political party and is inviting all lawmakers from Nimba to join him in the new party.
“I want to let all the lawmakers from Nimba know that after the NUDP crisis where they removed me from that party and destroyed it, the new party we put together, we brought everybody on board, forgiving all for the sake of Jesus”, said Senator Johnson.
In Nimba he is considered the political God Father as during the last two Senatorial elections in the second most populous county in Liberia, Senator Johnson proved his popularity by winning large number of votes.
Besides his personal political strength in the county, during the 2011 legislative election, Johnson’s newly founded National Union for Democratic Progress (NUDP) won six out of nine seats for the House of Representatives and the two Senatorial seats for Nimba.
Amongst those elected on the NUDP ticket were-Ricks Y. Toweh (NUDP District 6), Jeremiah K. Koung (NUDP District #1) Pince O.S., Tokpah (NUDP District 2), Samuel Woleh, (NUDP District 3), Garrison Yealue, Jr. (NUDP District 4) and Samuel Kogar (NUDP District 5).
In his message Senator Johnson says he is instructing all Nimba lawmakers to sign the resolution to remove Speaker Tyler.
“Now, I am instructing them now as the political leader to sign that document against Alex Tyler and get him out. Those who signed they have the green light. Those who did not sign, they are for corruption, they are for vampire and we will vote all of them out of Nimba”.
He warned all lawmakers from the NUDP who want to get re-elected to take the bold step by signing the anti-Tyler resolution.
Said Senator Johnson “Yes, all the members of the NUDP who want their seats in the Legislature, we open the door to everybody, we have told them to all come back and many are back who have been contributing towards the opening of the party offices around the country”.
The Nimba County Senator says he is against corruption and has been speaking against the act several years back.
“We started speaking on corruption over time, because of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, we have been vocal about it, been speaking against corruption, that is why I had to pull out against the interim government of Dr. Amos Sawyer. When Bryon Tarr was nominated as Finance Minister and was not confirmed by the Interim Legislative Assembly and he went and signed the banknote that is why I resigned from the government”, said the Senator.
Senator Johnson says Speaker Tyler is a criminal indictee and should therefore step aide to avoid distraction in the House of Representatives doing the Liberian people business.
“I know their names, they are many and I am calling upon them for the sake of morality, for the sake of the fight against corruption. The man is a criminal indictee. We need only one house to do the Liberian people business so those who have not signed, it is clear warning.
“I am putting a formidable candidate against Larry Younquoi and this is his last time, he will be booted out but if he signed and Tyler is out, he will get my support. The caucus issue has been resolved, and he has been coming to my office”.
The Senator told the Nimba lawmakers that the fight against corruption is a national fight and anyone that is corrupt should be removed from power.
“I am giving them this caveat that the fight against corruption is our fight, it is a national fight so, a criminal indictee, let him go to the court and exonerate himself but not to get people behind him to be holding this nation hostage”, Senator Johnson warned.
He has also threatened to inform the people of Nimba their elected representatives are supporting corruption if they do not sign the resolution to remove Speaker Tyler.
Said Senator Johnson “This is the last time, I am going to go into the county, in fact during the next county sitting I will tell the people of Nimba that those who have not signed are corrupt. But if they sign this is the beginning of a true fight against corruption”.
Some NUDP lawmakers including Toweh and Woleh are amongst those supporting Speaker Tyler. Toweh signed the resolution for Speaker Tyler to recuse himself but has been playing a dual role, where he attended session conducted by the group of lawmakers against Speaker Tyler and again attended session presided over by Speaker Tyler.
Another NUDP lawmaker Woleh who signed the anti-Tyler resolution rescinded his signature claiming that he was fooled by another lawmaker from Nimba to sign the resolution with the belief that the listing was meant for distribution of Independence gift to lawmakers.
Representative Yonquoi is also against the anti-Tyler resolution.
The nine lawmakers from Nimba have a huge impact to make in the ongoing saga if they support one side of the debate.
Senator Johnson is a powerful voice in the county and should the lawmakers listen to his call, it will be a big blow for Speaker Tyler’s attempt to hold to his position.
Speaker Tyler has already file a Writ of Prohibition to the Supreme Court praying the court to prohibit the ‘majority’ lawmakers from holding separate session. The court is yet to act on the writ.