Montserrado Electoral District #8 Representative Moses Acarous Gray and the Deputy Minister for Fiscal Affairs at the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning (MFDP) Samora Wolokollie over the weekend seized the Super Morning Show at the Liberia Broadcasting System and condemned ANC’s political leader Alexander B. Cummings for his accusations published in the media last week against President George Manneh Weah.
Rep. Gray said Cummings is a “barefaced liar” for saying that Weah is using state funds for his personal investments.
“Does Cummings know the benefits that come along with the presidency? In fact, is he not aware that Weah had his own money before getting into politics, and that he used his personal money to help several Liberians and others over the years? Let him keep quiet if he has no technical knowledge of governance,” he admonished Cummings.
According to Gray, Cummings is a “divisive leader” who at a point in time said: “It is time we take our country back.”
He said such a statement coming from a political leader who, some time ago, opted to take the highest seat in the country is worrisome and should be condemned by all who believe that the country belongs to every Liberian, regardless of whatever status he or she is connected to.
“Gone are the days when a certain group of people, mainly the underprivileged, emptied chambers (toilet buckets) for them in this country. No more shall we revert to such an existence. We all own this country and there is no question about that,” he said.
Gray alleged that Cummings is a selfish leader who prefers only the seat of the standard bearer in an opposition coalition yet to be formed.
He said Weah is his personal friend; he is fully aware that Weah has even more properties (land) around the country than what those in the opposition are accusing him of having now.
“Because the country was not safe due to the civil crises, Weah could not invest here. He asked other people to look after his pieces of land everywhere he bought one, and they have been at the forefront. Now is the time he feels it is right to develop his properties and so if it hurts Cummings and other lazy politicians let them buy theirs and build,” he said.
Gray challenged Cummings and others who continue to accuse the CDC-led government of wrongdoing to come forward with their pieces of evidence and convince the voting population that in the 2023 representative and presidential elections CDC will not continue to lead.
On the issue of the inclusion of those in opposition in the governance process of the country under the CDC leadership, he said the CDC has done better than former President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf.
“When former President Sirleaf came to power, she downsized and right-sized, thereby getting off jobs all those she knew were not in her camp or supporting it. She sacked people who served in her government and at the same time criticized her, but we are not doing that,” he said.
He added that inasmuch as former Grand Bassa County Senator Gbehzohngar Finley supported the CDC later on during the 2017 political campaign, he was not a CDCian but now he is the Minister of Foreign Affairs.
Gray also named Lenn Eugene Nagbe, who is the minister of information, and a host of other employees of government as people from the opposition bloc who are freely enjoying the tolerance of CDCians, mainly President Weah.
Minister Samora Wolokollie, on the other hand, said it is frustrating but at the same time laughable that “misinformed and ill-advised” individuals continue to accuse the government, mainly the Ministry of Finance, of mismanaging the country’s money.
“Can you imagine, these lazy opposition politicians say every day around here that we passed around with the US$25 million dollars meant to mop up and stabilize the exchange rate between the Liberian dollar and the U.S. dollar and that we distributed the money among street money exchangers in West Point.
“This sounds foolish, but for the sake of educating them on this platform, we dealt with registered and licensed money exchangers who are running their businesses at their bureaus,” Wolokollie said.
He said the two options available to the economic management team (EMT) for the mopping up exercise are “direct and indirect” and that it is up to the team to choose either of them.
“The direct method for the mopping up exercise was the one we used. It is about going directly to the market and exchange from registered and licensed money exchangers operating at bureaus. The indirect method is by taking the money to the banking sector to do the exchange exercise,” he said.
Wolokollie added: “These are the options we have and so we decided, for the sake of timeliness, in handling the issue of the continued skyrocketing of the U.S. dollar against the Liberian dollar, to do the direct mopping.”
The MFDP fiscal affairs boss said of the US$25 million dollars, U.S$15 million was used and that helped to reduce the exchange rate between the two currencies.
“We still have US$10 million dollars that we plan to infuse into the economy again so as to ensure that there is a curtailing of the high exchange rate between the currencies,” he said.
He said the entire US$25 million will in total be chasing and removing from the market over L$2 billion.
“I will not like to go into any details on the missing L$16 billion, but from what we have found out, it is like there was too much excess in the printing of the new money of our currency,” he said.
Wolokollie said if the opposition has facts of any wrongdoing perpetrated by the government, mainly in the financial sector of the country, they should document their findings with proofs attached and let the public and the whole world know.
“One thing that beats my imagination is that people who are not schooled in economics and don’t know the implications of what economic challenges are, are the very people writing papers and going to talk shows to address national economic issues.
“It is so sad that persons like Taa Wonge, an ANC partisan whom I last saw or ever heard of attending school when he was at St. Patrick’s High School; I mean a mere high school graduate is among those writing and discussing degree related issues, such as the state of the economy. It is sad because they are too lazy,” he said.
David Kortie, the man known to be a friend of every president, called on the show and said Gray and Wolokollie should not be bothered by the noise in the market and that President Weah has already proven that he is the best of all the Presidents that have ruled the country.
“From 1847 up to this day, President Weah, in less than a year has done better than any other president. Let them cause their noise while he builds our community roads and other major high ways,” Kottie admonished. Other callers phoned in and most of them took side with Gray and Wolokollie.