Liberia: Senators Spar Over Government's Controversial Announcement to Bring Into Country 285 Earth-Moving Equipment

President Joseph Boakai on campaign trail

Monrovia — Gbarpolu County senator, Amara Konneh, Monday maintained it would have been better had the government considered the procurement process associated with the 285 earth-moving equipment government said it had secured for road connectivity in Liberia, pushing back on Senator Abraham Darius Dillon's narrative that the Executive should be allowed to carry on its function whilst the Legislature awaits its time to act in the interest of transparency and accountability.

The Montserrado County senator Monday took to his Facebook page to defend the government's decision to secure a whopping US$30 million worth of earth-moving equipment, even though the government, through its Minister of State Without Portfolio, Mamaka Bility, did not disclose the source of the funding or whether the equipment were given by friendly partners to the government.

Senator Dillon said: "Under our governance system and by law, the Executive Branch is authorized, empowered and allowed to negotiate and secure concession deals, financing, loan agreements, enter into bilateral and or multi-bilateral agreements, sign international Treaties and or Protocols, etc ... on behalf of the country and people of Liberia."

Senator Dillon, the chair of the Senate committee on Foreign Affairs, added that for check and balance, under any and all such circumstances, the Legislature must ratify in order to bind the country and people of Liberia to any such deals or agreements, adding that the Legislature comes into play mainly and only after the Executive shall have concluded all necessary and required processes leading to consummation of such deals and or agreements.

"We welcome the much talked-about 285 earth-moving (road) equipment being negotiated by the Executive, after which the Legislature will have to conclude by ratification or rejection ... where necessary," he added.

In an apararent jibe at Senator Konneh who had earlier questioned the deal, Senator Dillon said: "The Executive should be allowed to carry on its function whilst the Legislature awaits its time to act in the interest of transparency and accountability. This is called "Check and Balance"! No premature yelling, no showboating and no grandstanding."

Senator Konneh, however, disagrees with his colleague, questioning his sincerity after he got elected to the Capitol Building in 2020 by criticizing the regime of then-President George Weah for the lack of transparency in the controversial EBOMAF and Eton loans.

"When did they know that criticism and a demand for transparency are two different things? The criticism that paved their way to office is "showboating and grandstanding," Senator Konneh said.

The Gbarpolu County lawmaker said demanding accountability is a Legislative oversight and a constitutional duty, adding "repeating the same things after getting power that you criticized as opposition is the biggest "showboating" and hypocrisy. What is it about attaining power?"

"Stop being an intolerant leader of first resort by objecting to dissenting views while you are in power. That's what your predecessors did that put them out of power. Be consistent in your advocacy for good governance as an opposition and a ruling politician," he added.

AllAfrica publishes around 500 reports a day from more than 100 news organizations and over 500 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.