FrontPageAfrica (Monrovia)

30 May 2014

Liberia: Empty Rhetorical Statements - Rep. Dissects President Address

Monrovia — Representative Moses Acarous Gray (CDC-District#8 -Montserrado County) has described as empty and rhetorical statements from President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf about the Liberian economy made on Wednesday in a nationwide address.

Just a day after the President's address, the CDC Lawmaker accused her (Sirleaf) of numerous contradictions in her comments. Rep. Gray asserts that the President complained of budget shortfall and at the same time boasts of Liberia being a nation that is experiencing an economic boost over the years compared to other African countries.

"If these people have made our economy to boom, why would you want to replace or prosecute them? I see that as a contradiction," said Rep. Gray.

"If they boast of economic growth and admit to shortfalls in the budget that is a contradiction and the biggest contradiction of all is when the President said those in charge of the economy of the country, some may be replaced and prosecuted."

In the President's address she stressed her seriousness to rescue what is left of an economy in pieces vowing changes in policy and officials. "I renew to you this solemn pledge: our economy will be restored to its fullest potential. This effort is already on its way with my direct leadership," President Sirleaf said.

Very unserious

The CDC Lawmaker also accused President Sirleaf of being very unserious about catering to the welfare of the Liberian people. Rep. Gray said in the wake of the continuous budget shortfall experienced by the government it spent hundreds of thousands of United States dollars on relatives and those close to the power in the name of foreign scholarships for the credential that could be attained right in Liberia from the University of Liberia at a low cost.

"Why will people be abusing the state resources and boasting of a growing economy and trying to lie to the people? What is her agriculture policy? Doe had the Green revolution policy; past leaders had their policies that impacted the lives of the ordinary people," said Rep. Gray.

"It will take more years to begin to export oil and iron ore from Liberia as opposed to having a massive agricultural revolution in Liberia that will provide more employment for Liberians."

He described the president's speech to the nation about dismissal and prosecution of officials of government as empty talk because according to him under the President's leadership there has not been a single official dismissed for corruption.

Representative Rep. Gray said the president comments about changes was calculated in that she is aware that by July of this year there will be no ministry of Finance but rather the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Development and as a result of that some changes will be made.

He challenged the president to dismiss or prosecute any official of government on corruption and promised to commend her for such action, but cautioned the President against witch-hunting officials of government who are at the bottom of the decision making adding that she should rather deal with those at the peak of power.

Grand daughter's graduation influence US trip

Rep. Gray also claimed that the President's trip to the United States in the name of a private visit is to attend her grand Daughter's graduation. "Just as she brought her great grandson here for NOCAL consultation, it is the same way she is going to the US to attend the graduation ceremony of her granddaughter and saying she is going for official duties," he stated.

On Thursday, President Sirleaf wrote the plenary of the Liberian Senate informing them about her trip to the US leaving Defense Minister Brownie Samukai in charge of the country.

The President letter read by the secretary of the senate said: "Mr. Pro-Temp and distinguish ladies and gentlemen of the senate I write to inform you that I will be out of the country for some days, but while I am away Defense Minister Brownie Samukai will be in charge in consultation with Vice President Joseph Boakai. I want to inform you that the funds used to finance my trip are my personal finance." The President's letter was read and sent to the Senate record as it is usually done.

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