February 13, (THEWILL) – Liberia’s defence minister, Maj. Gen. Prince Charles Johnson has resigned from his position, citing the civil and political disobediences occasioned by protests by wives of Liberia soldiers, who blame him for low wages and poor living conditions in the military barracks.
The resignation is coming just ten days after his appointment by President Joseph Boakai.
Boakai “has received and accepted a letter of resignation from the recently confirmed Minister of National Defence Mr Prince C. Johnson.” The Presidency said in a statement; adding that Johnson’s resignation followed a protest by soldiers’ wives.
The President swiftly announced a provisional replacement, naming General Geraldine Janet George to the key post.
In his resignation letter, Johnson cited “the current political and civil disturbances occasioned by the protest of women believed to be wives of servicemen.” He wished to “preserve the peace and security of the State”, the statement added.
The resignation marks the first political crisis facing Liberia’s new President since his inauguration at the end of January.
Wives of Liberian soldiers set up roadblocks near the capital Monrovia and elsewhere in the country, forcing Boakai to cancel planned National Army Day celebrations on Monday.
The women expressed multiple grievances ranging from low salaries and pensions to a lack of social security, electricity shortages and corruption within the armed forces.
Since his elevation as minister of defence, a string of protests have trailed Maj. Gen. Johnson’s appointment by President Boakai, with the latest being the blocking of the Roberts International Airport and other major highways across the country.