The Ministry of National Defense (MOD) has responded to recent allegations levied against them by Montserrado County Electoral District #8 Representative, Acarous Moses Gray.
In a statement issued Monday, February 17 by the MOD authority under the signature of its Public Affairs deputy director, Anthony D. Lander, the MOD said its attention had been drawn to a story published in the Friday, February 14, 2014, Vol.2 No.56, edition of the Activist newspaper captioned: “Legislator Hits Army Chief.” In the article Rep. Gray accused Defense Minister, Brownie J. Samukai, Jr., of using government-mandated tax-exemption privileges strictly for Armed Forces of Liberia’s (AFL’s) materials coming into the country to import goods for his private businesses.
Gray’s allegation as quoted by the Activist newspaper was made when he appeared on Fabric (101) Radio early morning talk show dubbed, “New Dawn.”
The MOD in a release said it considers such information coming from a lawmaker like Gray, “unfounded, malicious and un-honorable,” with the intent to drag the Ministry’s image down in the eyes of Liberians.
The Ministry said in its reply that Rep. Gray lacks adequate knowledge concerning the tax-emption privileges given officers and members of the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL), and the workings and structures of the Ministry.
Therefore, “The MOD wishes to state categorically that at no time has the Minister, Brownie J. Samukai, Jr., or any other employee of the ministry imported goods under the canopy of AFL’s tax-exemption privileges,” said the Ministry’s reply.
“As such, the MOD request Rep. Gray to desist from bringing the MOD and the AFL into his negative propaganda campaign and focus on lawmaking that would benefit his constituency, which includes soldiers and officers of the AFL,” the release declared.
The MOD reiterated its unequivocal focus on providing administrative oversight to the AFL to achieve the primary mission of defending the Republic of Liberia.
“The MOD,” the release noted, “is not a political institution, and as such, would not engage into a debate with members of the National Legislature; particularly Acarous M. Gray.”
Meanwhile, the MOD has called on Rep. Gray, and certain members of the independent media to avoid emotional reporting and always seek clarity regarding information about the Ministry and its employees.