Defense Minister, Chief of Staff Receive Senate Blessings

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Brigadier General Prince C. Johnson, III, before Senate's confirmation hearing

The Senate acting upon a recommendation from its Statutory Committee on Defense, Security, Intelligence and Veteran Affairs, yesterday  voted to confirm Defense Minister-designate, retired Major/General Daniel Dee Ziankahn, and the Chief of Staff-designate of the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL), Brigadier General, Prince C. Johnson, III.
Outgoing Chief of Staff Rtd. Gen. Ziankahn will succeed former Defense J. Brownie Samukai, who served in that post for the 12 years of former President Sirleaf’s reign. Brigadier General Johnson when commissioned, will replace the now Defense Minister.

In recommendation signed by majority of the 15-member committee, it stated thus: “The committee having thoroughly examined statements made and records presented respectively by the nominees as regards their services with other agencies of government as well as their articulation of policy vision, which will positively impact the programs and policies of government, it is convinced that the nominees have the requisite educational background and working experience to effectively and efficiently manage the affairs of their positions thereto nominated; the committee is therefore pleased to recommend to plenary to confirm them…”

In a related development, during a special arranged session on Monday in the Joint Chambers of the Legislature, the Ways, Means, Finance and Budget informed Senate plenary that Samora P. Z. Wolokolie, Deputy Minister-designate for Fiscal Affairs; Tanneh G. Brunson, Deputy for Budget and Development Planning; and Janga Kowo, Comptroller General-designate during their confirmation hearings were found to be deserving and qualified, and to occupy the positions for which they were nominated.

“Following a thorough examinations of the curriculum vitae of the nominees, exhaustive analysis of their various testimonies and answers to questions posed to them by committee members, and given their service records with other institutions of  government and the policy vision, which the committee has determined, will positively impact the government’s pro-poor policy,” the report said.

The policy will be impacted through the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning, the statutory committee on Ways, Means, Finance and Budget, “and therefore, it is convinced that the nominees have the requisite educational background and working experiences to effectively serve the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning in the various capacities….the committee without any reservations recommend to the plenary of the Senate to unanimously confirm Samora P. Z. Wolokolie, Minister Designate for Fiscal Affairs; Tanneh G. Brunson, Deputy Minister-designate for Budget and Development Planning, and Janga A. Kowo, Comptroller General,” the committee’s report concluded.

The reported confirmation of the three MFDP officials comes a week after the Senate on  short notice, confirmed Gbehzohngar Findley as Minister of Foreign Affairs; Samuel D. Tweah, Minister of Finance and Development Planning and Nathaniel McGill, Minister of State for Presidential Affairs.

Meanwhile, up to press time last night, there was no sign or indication as to whether the fate of embattled Justice Minister-designate, Charles Gibson would be decided any time soon.

There has been, over the past weeks,  a continuous outcry both from the public and media outlets calling on President Weah to withdraw the nomination of Gibson, citing fears that if he becomes the country’s Attorney General of Liberia, the ministry will stand lose its credibility in the eyes of the public

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