Kouyateh Wants AFL Chief Of Staff Clarify That People Text Him To Overthrow, Amid Discovery Of Huge Cache Of Arms

Barely after 72 hours when a call for the resignation of the Minister of National Defense, Daniel Dee Ziankahn was made by a US based Liberian  human rights activist, Vandalark R, Patricks, amid the Minister’s recent warning, daring Liberian politicians not to cross, what he called, ”Democratic Red-line” or be delt with accordingly, another call has been made, requesting the Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces to resign amid his call last year, 2022 that some people asked him to overthrow the government.

Speaking to the GNN Monday, February 20, 2023, Sheikh another prominent Liberian, Sheikh Al Moustapha Kouyateh is also calling on the Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL), Major General Prince C, Johnson,III for his recent statement made that some people abroad text him to overthrow the CDC-led government of President George Manneh Weah, but declined to name those who he alleged that text him.

Speaking further on the issue, Sheikh Kouyateh said, since the Liberian Army Chief of Staff made such scaring statement to the Liberian people via social media and local radio stations, lots of concerns have been raised amid the discovery of huge cache of arms and ammunitions at the Free Port of Monrovia last January, 2023.

Kouyateh in a rather emotional tune speaking to the GNN, called on the Chief of Staff to resign his post, noting that since the statement was made by him, neighboring countries including Guinea, Sierra Leone, Ghana and Ivory Coast are expressing fear for any usual subversive activities that will have the propensity to destabilize the region.

Last December, the Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL), Major General Prince C. Johnson, III made a startling revelation that some Liberians at home and abroad have been sending him text messages urging him to stage a military coup, amid the prolonged absence of President George Manneh Weah from the country.

The calls for the army to overthrow the President comes in the wake of the prolonged absence from the country of the Liberian leader, who has been away for over a month and is expected to be abroad up to December 18.

In a phone interview with the private owned OK Fm afternoon talk show, OK Conversation with host Julius Jeh did not name some of the persons who are him to stage a coup, but he maintained that the current AFL remains committed to fully respecting the country’s constitution.

President Weah and his Coalition for Democratic Change government took office nearly five years ago in January 2018, after a landslide victory in the 2017 presidential election. And in less than a year, he is expected to make his second term bid in the constitutionally scheduled presidential and legislative polls on the second Tuesday in October 2023.

He indicated that those who want to see a change of government must use the procedures spelled out in the constitution by utilizing the ballot box or legislative procedure, warning that citizens must not use extrajudicial measure to do so.

But for Sheikh Kouyateh, he is calling on the Chief of Staff to disclose the names of those abroad who he said sent him text messages for the overthrowing of this sitting government, “We need to know those abroad who want the Government to be overthrow, let him come out to tell us or resign as AFL Chief of Staff”, he urged.

President Weah and his Coalition for Democratic Change government took office nearly five years ago in January 2018, after a landslide victory in the 2017 presidential election. And in less than a year, he is expected to make his second term bid in the constitutionally scheduled presidential and legislative polls on the second Tuesday in October 2023.

He indicated that those who want to see a change of government must use the procedures spelled out in the constitution by utilizing the ballot box or legislative procedure, warning that citizens must not use extrajudicial measure to do so.

Earlier in a statement released to the media and published on the Defense Ministry’s Facebook page, Major General Johnson warned that the AFL will not sit idly by and allow law and order to break down and that the army will perform its constitutional duty to back up the Police whenever they are overwhelmed by violent/mob action.

“A caveat for whosoever may feel or is disenchanted as we approach the 2023 elections to use the court system as was seen in the 2017 Presidential and 2020 midterm Senatorial elections. If you decide to take the law into your own hands (disregarding the rule of law), regardless of your current or past status or affiliation, and if the LNP can’t control your actions and/or is overwhelmed, we will execute our constitutional duties. We will not allow anyone or a group of people to obstruct our hard-earned Peace and Democracy. We will support the LNP and relevant agencies to protect key installations where necessary.” Maj/Gen Prince Charles Johnson III, COS/AFL

According to Section 2.3 e of the National Defense Act of 2008 says: “The duties of the AFL in peacetime shall include support to the national law enforcement agencies when such support is requested and is approved by the president….Notwithstanding, the Military Police of the AFL may on request of the Ministry of Justice made to the Ministry of National Defense, and approved by the President of the Republic of Liberia provide assistance for these law enforcement agencies as determined by prevailing situation…”

In recent years, the new reformed AFL has exercised the duties spelled out in the Defense Act when the Liberian National Police was overwhelmed and could not handle situation that was developing into a breakdown of law and order, after the Justice Ministry requested the Commander-In-Chief to order the army to help quell the violence. One incident was in the southeastern Grand Gedeh County in July 2020.

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