Nimba County Senator, Prince Y. Johnson, has warned Liberians not to insult President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf. Sen. Johnson noted that individuals who are in the constant habit of using the airwaves to insult the President should desist, saying it gives the country a negative image. The Nimba County Senator, who is also the standard bearer of the opposition National Union for Democratic Congress (NUDP), asserted that peace and reconciliation can only be achieved only when there is respect for those in leadership.
During the 2011 Presidential Run-Off Election, the NUDP supported the second term bid of President Johnson-Sirleaf. He made these comments on Monday, January 14, 2013 when he spoke on the state owned radio station, the Liberia Broadcasting System (LBS). He furthered: “Irrespective of your tribe, religion or political affiliation, it is always good to respect the Presidency of this country, if we want to move forward.”
Despite the opportunity of freedom of speech and expression, the NUDP standard bearer urged his fellow compatriots to exercise restraint in what they say, especially to the President or the office of the President. Senator Johnson’s comments come in the wake of pronouncement by President Johnson-Sirleaf that her government will not burn down media houses or intimidate critics. The Liberian leader, whose pronouncement was contained in her recent message delivered to the nation under the theme - “Staying the Course”, pointed out that the government’s will to work for sustainable peace and shared prosperity is too great – to either be provoked into a retreat or to be distracted from its present course.
Said the Liberian leader: “This government will not shut down radio stations or ban newspapers. We will not burn down media houses or intimidate critics. We will not arrest journalists or silence political commentators, even if, aware of their own transgressions, they expect us to do so. “For to do these things is not just to manifest weakness and to stray off course, but also to dishonor the stripes which many, in and out of this administration, have earned by our years of personal sacrifices and political struggles.” She among other things added. But Senator Johnson maintained that no one should go above the limit by insulting the Presidency.