Lewis Brown Clarifies GAC’s Report Issue

By Edwin G. Wandah

Information Minister, Lewis Brown has clarified that the Government of Liberia has not ignored any audit reports conducted by the General Auditing Commission (GAC) or disrespected that body in any form as reported recently.

The Information Minister at a news briefing on Thursday explained that the media has published several articles on audits conducted by the GAC, which linked former Agriculture Minister Dr. Chris Toe to an alleged misappropriation of state funds, which the Publisher and Managing Editor of the FrontPageAfrica, Rodney Sieh carried in his publication.

According to Minister Brown, following several proceedings at the Civil Law Court, Journalist Sieh was found guilty and required to pay US$1.5 m to Dr. Toe for defamation of character, something that led Sieh to prison due to his failure to make the funds available.

According to Minister Brown, the two individuals are Liberian citizens, who deserve the rights to equal respect and the protection where all Liberian citizens enjoy. The Liberian Information Minister further noted that as far as the Administration of Madam Ellen Johnson is concerned as President of the Republic of Liberia, it is her pleasing duty to foster equal opportunities for all Liberian citizens, irrespective of cultural, religious and political differences.

Reading through a letter issued by the Ministry of Information, Ministry Lewis Brown re-iterated Government’s commitment to the equal rights of all of its citizens under the confine of the Liberian territory, and even outside of the country, where the rule of law deserves to take its cause.

Minister Brown cautioned the Liberian press to be more professional in reporting issues in the Media for public viewing. According to Minister Brown, professional media practitioners are associated with issues that tend to build up the economy of any nation and not those vices that provoke chaos and anarchy; acts that will ferment violence and do away with civil liberty and avoid plunging the nation into another anarchy.

At yesterday’s weekly Press Briefing, two Government Executives, Hon. Oblayon Blayon Nyemah, Sr. Executive Director of the Liberia Institute of Public Administration (LIPA) and Mr. Johansen T. Voker, Environment Protection Agency Focal Point-Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety spoke on the issues of Manpower Development in the Manpower and Environmental sectors.

Mr. Voker elaborated on the technical areas of the environment, areas which has to do with the safety of the Liberian people. According to him, the EPA by law works with nearly all of Government’s line Ministries and Agencies in assuring safety of the Liberian people.

According to him, the Government of Liberia amongst other things seeks to foster International Cooperation amongst member states, ensure the successful use of the Genetic Resource and protect the modern bio-technology.

He said the Government of Liberia in 2002 joined the treaty-protocol of GMO which helps to protect the lives of the citizens by carefully tracking down criminals who may want to beat the system by importing harmful things that may threaten the lives of the common people.

He said the Government of Liberia sponsored at least 3 persons to attend special biotechnical studies in Norway and 2 persons in Ghana to assist the EPA in the areas of Biotechnology.

For his part, the LIPA Boss Oblayon lauded his predecessor, the late Professor Harry Monger for leaving behind a draft document to be used for the re-location of the LIPA new office.

According to Mr. Blayon, his administration is attracting lots of interests in acquiring funding for the improvement of the Liberia Institute for Public Administration LIPA.

The LIPA Boss encouraged Government Officials, mainly Cabinet Ministers to take advantage of the financial training for improving their various Ministries and Agencies.

Meanwhile, several Liberians have lauded the Liberian Information Minister for the latest pronouncement and according to them internal wrangling amongst Government functionaries is something worrisome and has the propensity to escalate more wrangling in the Government.

According to Boimah D. Korbah, Minister Brown has convinced the Liberian people that he is capable of handling the Ministry of Information and all Liberians should laud the Minister for the step taken so far to inform the public about the issue that has been reported in the news for some time now concerning two Liberian citizens, Dr. Chris Toe and Rodney Sieh.