Speaking Monday, May 11, 2020 when he appeared on the Truth Breakfast Show (TBS) on Truth FM, Major General Prince Charles Johnson, III said he will not take order from any civilian authority to restrict the media of its assigned duties.
There are ongoing fracas between the Liberian government and the media over the issuance of new passes following an order released by Deputy Information Minister for Public Affairs, Eugene Fahngon.
Deputy Minister Fahngon, in his recent order, stated that the previous passes issued to media houses and journalists were no longer valid on grounds that they were duplicated allegedly by the President of the Press Union of Liberia (PUL), Mr. Charles B. Coffey, an assertion the PUL has since debunked.
The Liberian journalists are said to be divided over the ongoing saga, as some of them have out rightly rejected the new passes, while others have accepted them.
However, the AFL chief indicated that he will not take any marching order from any civilian except President George Manneh Weah, who is also the Commander-In-Chief of the Liberian Army, and the Minister of National Defense.
“I don’t take my marching from any civilian person except from the President and the Minister of Defense. The only civilian I will take my marching order from is the Minister of Defense and the Commander-In-Chief. We are going with the same order on the issue of enforcement,” emphasized Maj. Gen. Johnson.
“We will go by what the government has as it relates to enforcement and on this, our marching order comes from the President,” he pointed out.
Amid the ongoing saga, the AFL head bragged that there is still high level of cordiality between the army and the press, something, which he aims to maintain.
The army chief noted that officers of the AFL will respect journalists by their official identification cards assigned them by their respective entities.
“Once you get to our check points and you properly identify yourself as a journalist we will allow you to do your work or pass through,” added Maj. Gen. Johnson.