English singer, songwriter and actress Joscelyn Eve Stoker, popularly known as Joss Stone, will be performing in Guyana on January 28 at the Theatre Guild.The Grammy-Award winner rose to fame in late 2003 with her multi-platinum debut album “The Soul Sessions”, which made the 2004 Mercury Prize shortlist.Her second album, the similarly multi-platinum “Mind, Body & Soul” topped the UK Albums Chart for one week and spawned the top ten hit “You Had Me” – Stone’s most successful single on the UK Singles Chart to date.Both the album and single received one nomination at the 2005 Grammy Awards, while Stone herself was nominated for Best New Artiste, and in an annual BBC poll of music critics, Sound of 2004, was ranked fifth as a d breakthrough act of 2004.She became the youngest British female singer to top the UK Albums Chart. Stone’s third album, “Introducing Joss Stone”, released in March 2007, achieved gold record status by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and yielded the second highest-ever debut for a British female solo artiste on the Billboard 200, and became Stone’s first top five album in the US.Stone has earned numerous accolades, including two Brit Awards and one Grammy Award out of five nominations. And, Guyanese will have a chance to see and hear the renowned actress and singer in real life.Tickets for the event cost $3000 and $6000, and will be available at the Theatre Guild and PACE University of Guyana. All proceeds from the concert will be dispatched to identified charities.
…PrezzieConfession, they say, is good for the soul. So, we can be certain that Prezzie’s “Confession of Georgia” about always being a “true-purple” Burnhamite, must’ve done wonders for his soul. The question, however, is what has it done for his political currency? After all, souls don’t vote in elections, bodies do. And if those bodies aren’t one with his confession, there might be trouble ahead!While many looked at the AFC as the ally that brought the coalition victory in 2015, not enough attention was placed on the WPA’s role in giving the PNC respectability by covering their spots in APNU. “Respectability” – not necessarily to the Indian voter – but to the middle class African and Mixed sceptics who weren’t convinced the street-battles of the post-1997 PNC were the vehicle to deliver the chalice of power to them.The WPA provided that respectability. It was the dream team for them: the brawns of the PNC with the brains of the WPA. During the seventies, the WPA had degutted the PNC in the moral plane by the principled positions they took on the national questions of the day. While most of them may have swallowed hard and voted for the PNC when the vote was “free and fair” in 1992, it wasn’t something they were proud about. In 2015, they could have their (PNC) cake and eat it too – courtesy of the WPA sanitisation!So, after Prezzie’s confession, WPA Exec Ogunseye fired off a missive that was more of a missile! Calling it “disturbing” and “surprising” Ogunseye figured Prezzie was either floating a trial balloon on the PNC going it alone in 2020; or alternately bigging-up his PNC credentials to oppose those in the party who may want to do so. Well, Mr Ogunseye seems to be waking up a bit late to smell the coffee, which the PNC, under Prezzie, has been brewing!Ogunseye would know Roopnaraine almost singlehandedly brought about the PNC-WPA Alliance – going back all the way to Desmond Hoyte. So when Prezzie pretty much FIRED Roopnaraine last June 13 – the anniversary of Walter Rodney’s assassination, he should’ve read the writing on the wall! Fact of the matter, Prezzie and the PNC have no use for the WPA anymore. The ones who they can get some use out of, like Clive Thomas, they’ll keep. Others like Ogunseye will be discarded!But Prezzie has also come under fire from the one-man party OVP for claiming he’s a “real” Burnhamite. Not so! Cried the “one man”. If he were, why didn’t he oppose Desmond Hoyte back in 1992 like Hamilton Green?But jeez! The Americans would’ve also been strong-arming Prezzie, wouldn’t they?!!…JordanYour Eyewitness caught sight of one of the giant posters placed around the country with a huge pic of Finance Minister Jordan smirking like the Cheshire cat!! Is this another Burnhamite practice being revived? But those were about exhortations like “PRODUCE OR PERISH!” or “THE SMALL MAN IS THE REAL MAN” and such like.The only picture allowed was that of Burnham! Those were placed even on exercise books – and more than anything else, caused Guyana to plunge to the bottom of the Caribbean standings in education!! Not easy to focus on Maths with Burnham staring morosely at you!! But the poster just highlighted Jordan’s muddle?Here he was – in front of a highway with the Budget slogans for 2015 and 2016 proceeding in the left lane. The 2017 Budget (which is supposedly coming up) however was placed going in the same direction – BUT IN THE OPPOSITE LANE!!Doesn’t Jordan realise his budget’s going to collide with incoming traffic?? Like reality?…the VCLike Finance Minister Jordan, UG’s VC Griffith boasted his graduating class was the BIGGEST ever! Now after the shameful SNAFU’s that marred the event, he accepts there was “poor planning.”Shouldn’t he do the honourable thing and resign? Like he had to do at Fort Valley State?
…with the PNCMoses Nagamootoo is a pathetic excuse for a politician – even by the not exactly stratospheric standards of that profession!! Promised a piece of the action by the PNC after his PPP cohorts dumped him as an empty windbag, he persuaded his friend, AFC leader Ramjattan, that they wouldn’t end up as “dead meat” after coalescing, as the latter feared. But here he is, reduced to a caricature of Naipaul’s “Mimic Man” politician at the end of a humiliating and inglorious career, writing a weekly column in the Chronicle to defend the PNC!And this week’s contribution– “DEFENCE, DESPERATION AND DESTABILISATION” – illustrates the defence of his own desperation as he tries to tag the Opposition’s follow-up of their successful no-confidence motion as “destabilising” the Government!! So that your Eyewitness isn’t accused (God forbid!) of putting words into Nagamootoo’s mouth, let’s quote him verbatim: “When I heard the leader of the opposition (Jagdeo) saying that the present elected government lacked legitimacy, I could not resist drawing an inference that more attempts would be made to unseat our Head of State and his government.”Now that you, Dear Reader, have recovered after ROTFL, imagine the deranged and damaged mind that would draw this “inference”!! If Art 106 (6) and (7) of the Constitution direct the President and the Cabinet resign after the passage of a no-confidence motion and that elections must be held in three months, what does this say about the “legitimacy” of the PNC Government that insists on “passing” bills like the one on our Natural Resource Fund that’ll impact on future generations down the ages?? That the successful no-confidence motion was of no consequence?What exactly does Nagamootoo believe the “legitimacy” of a government rests on? He rightfully claims it’s on the vote they received. But we have something called “representative” government – where the people’s representatives exercise their will. Nagamootoo shoots his argument – such as it is – in the foot by confirming that Charrandas was a REGIONAL representative, but wasn’t representing them!! It just proves Nagamootoo’s completely oblivious to the agony of the 4000 Region Six sugar workers who were fired by his government!So, ignoring the explicit language of Art 106 (6), Nagamootoo says, “It was never contemplated that the President, together with his whole Cabinet, could be removed from office by a simple majority on a motion of no-confidence, but this is what the Opposition wants us to believe”!!!One wonders why he asserted exactly this intention when he brought his no-confidence motion against the PPP Government of President Ramotar?Should the Police have charged him with treason for attempting to “unseat” the Government? Like he’s trying to pin on Jagdeo?…by begging for PM wuk!The AFC, fresh from the whammy of being unable to blackmail the PNC for more spoils after their disastrous showing at the LGE, met in conclave to plot their relevance. They decided that the best way was to back Nagamootoo as the PM running mate for PNC leader David Granger. Your Eyewitness wonders whether they had a chat with ANYONE from the PNC camp. We know they couldn’t have consulted Granger since the man was getting chemotherapy in Cuba. And we know for sure they didn’t consult with any of the four PNC members who’re hovering in the wings in case Granger’s prognosis plunges.Now, why would these folk consider Nagamootoo, who’s proven time and again he’s burnt all his bridges in the Indian Guyanese community – the community the PNC needs to take them across the line at the next general elections – as PM material?All the AFC’s done is to announce Nagamootoo’s on the shelf for another marriage!…by “fan boying” GrangerWrote Nagamootoo about Granger after the latter’s speech to the GDF officers, “After I had listened with rapt attention to the Guyanese President… I can say that we are fortunate to have him at the helm”!!Does he think Granger will fall for his oh-so-obvious “brown-nosing”?
Dear Editor,Reports from the University of Guyana Vice Chancellery say the Vice Chancellor will host an inaugural Diaspora Engagement Conference from July 23-28. This is welcomed as the Diaspora may have a lot to contribute to the University and the nation, although so far the University has not been running a positive balance in its Diaspora reaches. Will those coming to the conference pay their own way or is the University covering their costs. And if it is the latter, will there be a fair and equitable representation of the varied ethnic groups – which was not evident at the UG conference held last year May in Queens, New York.It is pointed out that so far, the VC has been expending huge amounts of money with no income coming in to cover costs for his varied plan and programmes for the university. As anyone who studies economics will suggest, that is bad business – the University should at least find a way to recover costs and to minimise expenses. At the UG sponsored conference last year in New York City (York College), scarce funds were expended for travel and hosting of the conference. What were the benefits? Supporters of the ruling coalition participated in the conference. Indo-Guyanese and Amerindians were conspicuous by their absence. Indo-Guyanese and Amerindian scholars were underrepresented (a mere five per cent) at the conference in a country agreed they account for 54 per cent of the population and 60 per cent of the NYC-based Guyanese Diaspora.It should be noted that an Indo-Guyanese Diaspora conference was held in Guyana in March. In addition, there was a global convention on indentureship in Trinidad and a similar one in New Delhi last month on the occasion of the 100th anniversary since the end of indenture. The VC did not see a need to organise an indenture conference at UG to commemorate the historic occasion or provide support for the several seminars held in Guyana or to find funds to send scholars at the global conference in Trinidad or the one held in India last month. Yet the VC hosted and funded seminars on slavery and its emancipation last year and the 50th anniversary emendation in NYC. Is the 100th anniversary of end of indenture not worthy of commemoration? Aren’t historic events of other groups not worthy of celebration or commemoration? Where is the equity in funding for the varied ethnic groups in Guyana to attend or participate in UG organised events?The reports say President David Granger and Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo are invited to this Diaspora engagement. The VC, Ivelaw Griffith, is a close associate of President David Granger. They were both members of the People’s National Congress youth wing, the Youth Socialist Movement, of which Griffith was at one time the head. Will the current and former President endorse ethnic bias?Yours truly,Vishnu BisramDear Editor,Reports from the University of Guyana Vice Chancellery say the Vice Chancellor will host an inaugural Diaspora Engagement Conference from July 23-28. This is welcomed as the Diaspora may have a lot to contribute to the University and the nation, although so far the University has not been running a positive balance in its Diaspora reaches. Will those coming to the conference pay their own way or is the University covering their costs. And if it is the latter, will there be a fair and equitable representation of the varied ethnic groups – which was not evident at the UG conference held last year May in Queens, New York.It is pointed out that so far, the VC has been expending huge amounts of money with no income coming in to cover costs for his varied plan and programmes for the university. As anyone who studies economics will suggest, that is bad business – the University should at least find a way to recover costs and to minimise expenses. At the UG sponsored conference last year in New York City (York College), scarce funds were expended for travel and hosting of the conference. What were the benefits? Supporters of the ruling coalition participated in the conference. Indo-Guyanese and Amerindians were conspicuous by their absence. Indo-Guyanese and Amerindian scholars were underrepresented (a mere five per cent) at the conference in a country agreed they account for 54 per cent of the population and 60 per cent of the NYC-based Guyanese Diaspora.It should be noted that an Indo-Guyanese Diaspora conference was held in Guyana in March. In addition, there was a global convention on indentureship in Trinidad and a similar one in New Delhi last month on the occasion of the 100th anniversary since the end of indenture. The VC did not see a need to organise an indenture conference at UG to commemorate the historic occasion or provide support for the several seminars held in Guyana or to find funds to send scholars at the global conference in Trinidad or the one held in India last month. Yet the VC hosted and funded seminars on slavery and its emancipation last year and the 50th anniversary emendation in NYC. Is the 100th anniversary of end of indenture not worthy of commemoration? Aren’t historic events of other groups not worthy of celebration or commemoration? Where is the equity in funding for the varied ethnic groups in Guyana to attend or participate in UG organised events?The reports say President David Granger and Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo are invited to this Diaspora engagement. The VC, Ivelaw Griffith, is a close associate of President David Granger. They were both members of the People’s National Congress youth wing, the Youth Socialist Movement, of which Griffith was at one time the head. Will the current and former President endorse ethnic bias?Yours truly,Vishnu Bisram
Dear Editor,The Regional Democratic Council (RDC) of Region Two (Pomeroon-Supenaam) is deeply concerned about the alleged tampering of the budget proposal for 2018.An examination of the proposed budget by the Regional Chairman, Regional Vice Chairman, Councillors and other key stakeholders revealed a lack of key priorities identified and recommended at a key stakeholders consultation held in August 2017.Regional Democratic Council (RDC) Councillors – from both Government and the Opposition – have signed and dispatched a letter to the Communities Minister expressing their dissatisfaction, and called for an investigation.The RDC strongly rejects those actions of excluding key decisions made at the consultation; a consultation that engaged stakeholders to participate and offer priorities to positively impact and transform the lives of residents. Such actions are undemocratic and can reduce public confidence.The Regional Chairman openly rejects the inclusion of million for the purchase of two enclosed vehicles. One such vehicle was identified for the Regional Chairman himself; a decision he does not support since there are numerous other priorities that are needed in a region where the economy is struggling.The RDC will continue to make all dedicated efforts to foster transparency and accountability, in the best interest of its people.Sincerely,Devanand RamdattRegional ChairmanRegion Two
In an effort to boost school attendance among children in the North West District community of Baramita, Region One (Barima-Waini), ranks of F Division (Interior Locations) under the command of Senior Superintendent Ravindradat Budhram, donated a quantity of school supplies to a group of underprivileged children.The donation was made as part of the Guyana Police Force’s Social Crime Prevention Programme. According to the Force’s Public Relations Office Ivelaw Whittaker, ranks of the Baramita Police Station in continuing with their community outreach interventions under the programme and during routine visits to the village of Baramita, NWD, discovered that due to a lack of school supplies, some children were not attending school.This situation saw the intervention of the Police Commissioner through the Divisional Commander and on May 4, some 50 children received donations of school supplies, included school uniforms. In addition, 15 of the beneficiaries were placed into school.Ranks of Baramita Police Station along with students from the community who benefited from the donation of school suppliesMeanwhile, in the community of Annai in Region Nine (Upper Takatu-Upper Essequibo) on April 24, a meeting was held between the residents of Annai, Surama, and Wowetta and the Police. During the engagement, a number of topics including domestic violence were discussed and a community policing group was formed in the village.The social crime prevention programme focuses on the empowerment of youths by developing skills and moral values, in order to mould them into productive and meaningful contributors to society and to enhance Police community relations.On the other hand, a Canadian-based Guyanese businessman on Monday donated a professional document laminator to the Guyana Police Force. Dr Roberto Jacgobin has had a working relationship with the Force’s Cops and Faith Community Network. The presentation was made at the Office of the Assistant Commissioner (Administration) at Police Headquarters, Eve Leary, Georgetown.In brief remarks during the presentation, Jacgobin said it was a pleasure for him to be of some assistance to the Guyana Police Force and expressed his readiness to be of further assistance with other initiatives.Additionally, Assistant Commissioner David Ramnarine who received the laminating machine expressed sincere appreciation on behalf of the Police Commissioner and the Force for the piece of equipment, noting that it will assist in the production of identification cards for members of the Force.Also present during the simple presentation ceremony were Senior Superintendent Maxine Graham, Assistant Commissioner (Operations) Christopher Griffith and the Force’s Chaplain, Pastor Patrick Doolichand.
“It feels amazing. I’m very happy we made it. June Mar did a great job, the starting five did a great job and I hope we keep this up next conference,” said Standhardinger, referring to June Mar Fajardo, who scored 17 points and set the PBA local record with 31 rebounds. “I feel bad about Magnolia, they had a great fight and they did a great job.”“I still can’t believe it. Man, it’s a hell of a feeling. I can’t wait to feel it again,” said Nabong.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Solon urges Solgen to reconsider quo warranto petition vs ABS-CBN LATEST STORIES “Sobrang saya. Hindi ko ma-express yung feeling. Pero siguro sa lahat ng bagay, yung first talaga pinakamasarap eh. Kahit saan, kahit pagkabata mo yung una talaga yung pinakamasarap,” said Romeo after the Beermen escaped the Magnolia Hotshots, 72-71, in Game 7 of the 2019 Philippine Cup Finals at Araneta Coliseum.“First championship ko simula nung naging basketball player ako. Sa barangay lang ako nagchampion. Simula high school, college, PBA D-League days. Ito yung unang championship ko at PBA ko nakuha. Sobrang saya.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGolden State Warriors sign Lee to multiyear contract, bring back ChrissSPORTSCoronation night?SPORTSThirdy Ravena gets offers from Asia, Australian ball clubsThe 27-year-old Romeo played in his first finals series ever in his just first conference as a member of San Miguel after disappointing stints with GlobalPort and TNT that ended in nasty splits.Standhardinger, the Fil-German big man, and Nabong, who has embraced the role of enforcer, were just as overwhelmed by the moment especially with Game 7 coming down to the last second before determining the winner. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netMANILA, Philippines—There’s nothing like the first time and winning a maiden championship isn’t any different.Just ask San Miguel Beer’s trio of Terrence Romeo, Christian Standhardinger and Kelly Nabong, who celebrated their first PBA title on Wednesday night.ADVERTISEMENT Eduard Folayang gets new opponent for ONE Manila card GALLERY: 5-peat! San Miguel bags another PBA Philippine Cup crown Pagadian on tighter security for 100,000 expected at Sto. Niño feast Phivolcs: Slim probability of Taal Volcano caldera eruption Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard The Witcher series prompts over 500,000 reprints of Andrzej Sapkowski’s books Gretchen Barretto’s daughter Dominique graduates magna cum laude from California college MOST READ LeBron James stretches lead in NBA All-Star Game fan voting ‘Excited’ Terrence Romeo out to cherish first PBA finals appearance PLAY LIST 01:30’Excited’ Terrence Romeo out to cherish first PBA finals appearance02:43Philippines make clean sweep in Men’s and Women’s 3×3 Basketball06:27SEA Games 2019: No surprises as Gilas Pilipinas cruises to basketball gold02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award03:05Malakanyang bilib sa Phivolcs | Chona Yu Will you be the first P16 Billion Powerball jackpot winner from the Philippines? View comments
As Liberia passed more than one month having been declared free of Ebola transmission by the World Health Organization (WHO), journalist Gboko J. Stewart was confident that the Canadian Embassy in Accra, Ghana would finally see reason to grant him a visa to be able to enroll at Quest University this September. His first attempt at a Canadian visa was made earlier this year when he contacted the embassy to inquire as to whether he could go to Accra to submit his visa application. It was then that he was initially informed that due to the Ebola outbreak, Canada had a freeze on visa applications from all Ebola-affected countries, including Liberia. By then, Liberia had been recording a steady decline in the number of new Ebola infections, well on its way to becoming the first member of the 3 affected Mano River Union countries to be declared Ebola-free by the WHO. The May 9 declaration by WHO that Liberia was finally Ebola-free prompted the Canadian government to lift the restriction on visa applicants from Liberia, only days later. However, No sooner was the restriction lifted that Stewart’s application was denied on June 25. Stewart says he stayed in Accra for about a month during the visa application process. “I’m just so disappointed they have all these hurdles to keep someone at bay so their dreams can’t be pursued,” Stewart told the Squamish Chief, a Canadian newspaper, in an interview from his home in Liberia. “I’m not giving up, but there’s nothing more I can do – maybe some things are just not meant to be.”According to Stewart, the Department of Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) claimed he was a risk of not returning to his home country. “I’ve been to Europe and back on time with no intention on staying there,” he said. “The same would have applied to Canada.” Stewart said he “found it incredulous that they arrived at that decision, including travel history, because I was never granted an interview.”Gboko John Stewart was accepted to enroll at Quest in the fall semester of 2014, with a scholarship to study liberal arts and science. The scholarship is renewable every year upon reapplication and good grades. Quest has stood with Stewart throughout his ordeal with a promise to keep his acceptance (and scholarship) at the university open, should the Canadian government finally decide grant him the visa. “Gboko displayed tremendous perseverance throughout the visa ban on Ebola-affected countries, but the study permit application process is ultimately a matter between the applicant and Citizenship and Immigration Canada in which universities cannot intervene,” said Quest University’s Bradley Klees, senior admissions counselor, who added that Stewart’s acceptance at the university will be honored if the visa is eventually granted. “It is up to the applicant to satisfy the visa officer that they are coming to Canada on a temporary basis and that they are admissible. Visa applications are considered on a case-by-case basis on the specific facts presented by the applicant in each case,” read the statement from Nancy Caron, CIC spokesperson, who said the total number of Liberians granted visas since May is not available to the public.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
By William HarmonLiberians from all walks of life, especially women, must adopt the culture of being their sisters’ keeper in order to help strengthen the social bond of the country, a women rights activist, has said.Ms. Emma Smith, president of the Emma Smith Life Recovery Foundation (ESLRF) said when Liberians stick together they will be capable to achieve better results. “There is strength in unity. Until we can grab that culture of being our brothers’ keeper, we will continue to suffer a lot of pains individually.She spoke in reference to the saga involving the late 10 years old Barway Collins, whose lifeless body was found in the Mississippi River in Minneapolis after three weeks of massive search in the city by volunteers.On Monday, Barway’s father, Pierre Collins, confessed to intentionally murdering his son for US$70,000 insurance money. U.S. media quoted Pierre as saying that he punched his son and he became unconscious after which he duct-taped his body and threw him into the river. Pierre is expected to be sentenced to 40 years imprisonment.She said this case is truly a success story, noting that if Liberians both in the Diaspora and those at home have not come together to exert the level of pressure, she doubted that the success could have been achieved.“We want to be grateful to the U.S. Government and all Liberians, who stood up for this case. Indeed justice will truly prevail. The unity we exhibited during this process should stick with us. We all know that there is strength in unity and this is clearly manifested in this case,” she told the Daily Observer on Monday in a telephone interview.Emma said ESLRF, which headquarters is located in the ELWA Community, the same community where Louise Karluah resided before her departure to the U.S. to attend her son’s funeral, is also involve in helping the destitute.The ESLRF President, along with other women, lobbied to ensure that Barway’s mother-Louise Karluah was transported to the U.S. to attend her son’s funeral. Emma was at the forefront when all the formalities for Louise departure were being finalized. Louise, herself termed the plea as a relieved for her, but wants all those involve in the killing of her son to be brought to book.Reports indicate that she strongly believes that though it was Pierre who orchestrated the plan, he did not do it alone.“Justice has shown its rightful face, and I want to praise God for Louise,” Ms. Smith, a young activist said. She was in an exciting mood when she heard the news.Emma said Lil Barway’s soul will now rest in peace now that Pierre has been brought to book and is poised to bear the consequences of his actions.“Pierre is very wicked and heartless and the innocent soul of Barway has never been at peace till this cannibal faces the consequences of his action.She further said, “Lil Barway, you can now go and rest in peace. Let Jesus holds you in his blossom, you were a lovely child, but given to the wrong father.She said the many prayers, to bring whatsoever that led to your early death to light, have been unearthed. “Praise God that our prayers have been answered,” she said.Ms. Smith, a musician and social activist, along with other Liberian women, including Cllr. Yvette Chesson Wureh, were in the forefront in ensuring that Louise, a semi-literate woman, got to the U.S. and be part of the search for her son’s killer.She also expressed gratitude to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the U.S. Embassy, and Concerned Women in Liberia for their roles in the advocacy.“I want to be grateful to God for this news. This is indeed a victory for humanity, those of our friends in the U.S., who have been consistently part of this justice seeking initiative and the Liberian women on this side that rallied behind Louise to ensure that she got due recognition,” Smith told the Daily Observer.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
“We are peaceful citizens who are worthily contributing to the growth and development of post-war Liberia, to the extent that many of the towns and villages destroyed during the country’s civil crisis have returned to their pre-war status.” The speaker was evangelist Prince Y. Johnson who yesterday angrily reacted to a recent newspaper report stating that “all citizens in Nimba County were manufacturing arms in the county.”Senator Prince Y. Johnson (PYJ) chairs the county’s Legislative Caucus. He is also a born-again Evangelist preaching the Gospel with special emphasis on the peace and stability of the nation.In his strongly worded reaction given in an exclusive interview with the Daily Observer yesterday, Senator Johnson termed the report as “diabolical lies against peaceful Nimbaians, intentionally (manufactured) by agents of the devil to tarnish the good reputation of the citizens of Nimba County.”Senator Johnson, however, commended President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf for her regime’s tolerance of press freedom, but added, “This freedom has often been abused by agents of the devil who conceived evils against the state.”“The report of this newspaper is intended to scare away investors and paint citizens of the county black in the eyes of other Liberians and the international community. “They are doing this because Nimba is [endowed with immense resources and investment opportunities], PYJ said. In its Wednesday, May 27 edition Vol. 3, No. 199, a local newspaper (not the Daily Observer) quoted the chairman of the Community Watch Forum, Isaac Nyenati Kaffey, as alleging that citizens of Nimba County are presently involved with the production of arms in the county.According to the newspaper, Mr. Kaffey allegedly told a reporter of the paper that small arms being used by armed robbers in various communities have been produced in Nimba County. He did not say specifically in which part of the county the arms are being manufactured, but insinuated that citizens of the county are involved in the mass production of firearms.Based on that assertion by Mr. Kaffey as reported by the newspaper, Senator Johnson challenged the national security apparatus to compel Mr. Kaffey to locate the site of the manufacturing plant where the arms are produced, and directly identify citizens that he claims are involved in the arms production.“This is not just about Nimba,” the Senator insisted, “but the allegation undermines the security of the state because this allegation is baseless, since Mr. Kaffey of the so called Community Watch Forum did not indicate the exact location of the manufacturing plant, nor could he identify any one of the citizens who is involved with the deal,” Senator Johnson added.Nimba County, he said, is in the north-central portion of Liberia. It is one of 15 counties that comprise six districts the first-level of administrative division in the nation. Sanniquellie serves as the capital with the area of the county measuring 11,551 square kilometers (4,460 sq mi), the largest in the nation. The 2008 Census put the population of Nimba County at 462,026, making it the second most populous county in Liberia after Montserrado County.With this geographical description of the county, Senator Johnson wants to know, in which part of the county is the manufacturing plant located. He also wants to know the specific number of citizens involved in the arms manufacturing, since the writer of the article quoted Mr. Kaffey as saying that Nimba citizens were manufacturing arms.He then wondered what Mr. Kaffey was thinking about when he made such an unsubstantiated claim against the peaceful people of Nimba without citing any proof of his allegation.Meanwhile, Evangelist Johnson has challenged authorities of the various security agencies to seek further clarifications from Mr. Kaffey about the reasons for his “baseless allegation.”“Why would anyone want to manufacture arms in Nimba? What is the reason and who those behind the idea, if any are?” he asked. Senator Johnson wants national security to probe the report and make the findings public to shame those that are undermining the peace and stability of the country.Nimbaians, irrespective of status, he said are “peaceful and hard-working, whose only thought is to see the county and the country developed, but not destroyed.”Himself, a former leader of the erstwhile Independent National Patriotic Front of Liberia; a rebel sprinter group opposed the leadership of the National Patriotic Front of Liberia (NPFL), captured former President Samuel K. Doe, and tortured him to death.He is now a senator and Evangelist heading the newly constructed Chirst Chapel Church in Monrovia.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)