By Alva M. Wolokolie
The ruling Unity Party (UP) has come down hard on former National Security Advisor to former President Charles Taylor, Lewis Brown that the best way to begin now after his reaction to Liberia’s 166th Independence Orator is for him to resign, having already failed to keep his own vow.
Lewis Brown is the current Minister of Information, Culture Affairs and Tourism in this UP led government. It may be recalled that Information Minister Lewis Brown sharply reacted to national orator of the governing Unity Party Chairman Cllr. Varney Sherman who at Liberia’s 166th Independence Anniversary held in Bomi, Gbarpolu, and Grand Cape Mount Counties called for revamping of the government’s information dissemination mechanism to adequately inform the Liberian people about its achievements and accomplishments. Brown, in his press statement, said the UP chairman was wrong when he distanced himself from the shortcomings of the government to deliver on its campaign promises.
The UP says Mr. Brown’s last Thursday press statement against the party was a unilateral action which does not represent the official position of the government while his presence in government remains worrisome to many Liberians primarily because of his complicity in former President Charles Taylor’s fall.
At a jammed-packed press conference held yesterday at the headquarters of the Unity Party in Congo Town, outside Monrovia, the party’s Secretary General Wilmot Paye told a group of reporters that the UP has no doubt that last week’s statement by Minister Brown constitutes the same bundle of lies he told when he served former President Taylor in three key positions.
“Let me say here for the record also that the President of Liberia and our Standard-bearer is not “troubled” by the Independence Day oration, as Minister Brown insinuated in his press statement. Instead, our Standard-bearer has always encouraged and welcomed useful comments, especially those that proffer practical suggestions”.
Speaking in a more robust manner, the UP Secretary General blasted that his party is also aware that because Minister Brown and other critics lack the moral credentials to proffer any clear alternative views, they would try to portray a picture of disunity with the UP. But the President’s decision to select Cllr. Sherman as this year’s Independence Day Orator was not enough to erase the erroneous imagination of those critics like Minister Brown.
Mr. Paye said because the UP remains an irreplaceable brand name in Liberian politics, it will always be the target of derogatory remarks, like those from Lewis Brown. “We know that a mere mention of the Unity Party appears to provide a temporary respite for lazy politicians like Mr. Lewis Brown, so we are not surprised last month at the way he spoke,” Mr. Wilmot Paye stated.
The UP Executive said Mr. Brown’s action considering the official platform used to perpetrate his statement is a poignant reminder that the vestiges of the very past that this government is correcting, are reluctant to go away. The minister’s use of a facility established according to Mr. Paye is to promote the public interest for his personal agenda and is an abuse of public office that should be condemned in the strongest terms.
He described Brown’s action as a breach of the public trust and it reminded him of an earlier concern expressed by many that Mr. Brown’s presence in government might not have been desirable. “We should not forget that it was his presence that compelled some critics to draw unnecessary parallels in 2012 between us and previous governing political parties,” Paye stated.
Paye indicated that Brown did not give any meaningful advice to former President Charles Taylor and as a stalwart of the National Patriotic Party (NPP), Brown has distanced himself from the organization since the fall of Charles Taylor, his former boss. “His presence in any government is a complete embarrassment and is therefore no longer desirable,” Paye concluded.