Govt. Officials Lie to Us’ -Senator Wesseh Refutes Official Claims

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MONROVIA – River-Gee County Senator, Ambassador Conmany Wesseh, a one-time student leader at the University, Conmany B. Wesseh says government functionaries superintending the availability of fuel and gasoline in the country have lied under oath when they addressed the Liberian Senate.  Sen. Wesseh said contrary to claims that sufficient gasoline is in the country pending the arrival of additional supplies as told by Commerce and Industry Minister Wilson Tarpeh, government functionaries in the sector have fed Minister Tarpeh with wrong information he has shared with the public. He pointed out that there is acute shortage of the commodity in the country. Therefore, for the Southeastern lawmaker believes that something must have wronged with President George Manneh Weah if he is not worried about the prevailing gasoline or petroleum crisis in the country; The ANALYST’s Bill Jarkloh reports.

Addressing the D-15 Radio Talk-show, “The Round Table” Monday, Senator Wesseh said President Weah must be bothered by the prevailing petroleum crisis, saying that the President should have a solution from his technocrats he appoints to position to give the Liberian people relief.

Senator Wesseh accentuated that something may have gone wronged in the country that has precipitated the gasoline shortage, noting that there has been bad performance on the part of three of the President’s officials – the Minister of Commerce and Industry, Managing Director of the National Port Authority (NPA) and the Managing Director of the Liberia Petroleum Refinery Corporation (LPRC); and that some action needs to be taken against them.

He furthered that if President Weah does not have solution to this problem or his people that he puts to positions are not given him any solution to give hope, then it is counterproductive to restoration of hope to the people.

The River-Gee senator believes that the appointees of the president into the energy sector to provide petroleum and other services or any hope for him to passed it on to the people have lied to the public; but he noted that if the President says he is not worried about that, then something must be wrong with him.

In any case, the onetime student advocate, who has eventually become a lawmaker for his county said, “But I know he has to be, yes! He has to be worried about the [situation]. He has to be concerned about it. I am sure he’s talking with all of his people for them to brief him on an hourly basis if they said there is a ship coming”.

Noting that the LPRC and NPA have lied to Commerce Minister Wilson Tarpeh as a result he lied to public during recent legislative oversight meeting at the Senate. Senator Wesseh asked: Where is that ship that is bringing gasoline? How far it is? When is it going to be here? What is the size of the ship? Is it one of such ship that can berth? “We are not going to wait for huge tanker to come, the senator furthered the availability of the ship in question. “What is available? How many of these kind in smaller vessels that can come to berth in small places, such as in Buchanan, in Harper and in Greenville while we are dredging the Freeport?”

On what can the people expect of a President who had earlier pronounced he is not prepared to dialogue with people, Senator said there is great deal of expectation of the President from the people. Wesseh said the President is the only person who is elected by all of the counties, contested for or against by all of the people that participated in making that choice for the President of Liberia, noting that the person who becomes President gets the majority.

The River-Gee Senator also indicated that whenever the President Speaks, the President must give hope. Wesseh hopes whatever time he intends to speak, we will have enough information assuring the definite time the problem of gasoline will be resolved.

Such information, he said, will have timed the arrival of gasoline in the country based on concrete information, different from the kind of information that was given to Commerce Minister Wilson Tarpeh when he went on air to tell the public that there is enough gasoline when people were still struggling to get the commodity.

The important thing the president should be focused on is to give hope to the people, noting that such hope must not necessarily be who is sacked or who is it not sack; but should be hope ensuring that the fuel is available. In the case that someone gets sack in the process, Senator Wesseh indicated that it just means that people must take their jobs seriously.

On expectation of the people from their national leaders, Wesseh said, “What the people expect of their leaders is to give them hope; they want to see action that removes hardship or that gives them hope that the hardship must be removed.

At the moment, he said what people are looking forward to seeing or hearing is that this situation of “no gas” will not happen again and that the hardship they are going through because of the gas shortage will be removed, adding that it doesn’t matter whether it is from the President or his appointees.

Senator Wesseh accentuated that something was wrong; that there was bad performance on the part of all three of the executive offices, including the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, the National Port Authority and Petroleum Refinery Corporation, and that some action needs to be taken against the leadership of these entities.

Any action taken against the leaders of these entities will serve as a warning to all others who want to take their responsibilities lightly and will also know that there is a need to perform and failed to perform, they will always be reminded that that there is something that is to be done to them.

On Deputy Information Minister Eugene Fahngon’s assertion that there is still excess petroleum in the country and that there is need to dredge the port to bring in more, Senator Wesseh said: But do you need to hear from Fahngon to know that there is no fuel? I am saying to you it is not what the government spokesperson said; go and ask the Kerkeh fellows (tricyclist); the taxi drivers whether or not there is gasoline.

“That’s what we are looking for.  I told you while coming that I would not have come when my vehicle was not a diesel automobile. The other people who are using gasoline are having problem. And this problem being going on for the last two weeks. It’s getting worse,” he said.

Wesseh said coming from his residence on Duport Road that morning, “I couldn’t come as I spent over two hours trying to beat it thru getting out of Duport Road onto Tubman Boulevard. This is not because people wanted to block the road intentionally; they just could not have gotten off the road, [thereby making our cars stuck], and could not get out.

He said the situation could get worse that it was at the time, the River-Gee lawmaker said, “We hope the fuel, the gasoline, will come by whatever means. We’re not going to wait until the full dredging is completed. “

He recommended, “Smaller vessels have to berth. Something has to happen. I mean even during the war when we have interim governments, there was something that was done about ensuring that there was fuel. We didn’t have many vehicles as we have now, but that is a major security question – making sure that we have rice, we have flour, we have kerosene, gasoline, etc. Those are things we must have to keep peace and tranquility.”

Asked whether he is afraid that Liberians could do something out of the way to draw attention of Government, Wesseh said “I don’t think this could be just to draw attention. The purpose is to demonstrate that they are frustrated.  So as a public official, I think I have the responsibility to do something. That is what we are trying to do to ensure that fuel gets here, in Liberia.”.

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