Tit-For-Tat Squabbles Over AU Troubles -As Lawmakers Throw Low Blows

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The alarming news about the African Union downgrading Liberia’s status from a full member to a mere observer because of default in dues payment is causing a huge public outcry among ordinary Liberians. But the issue has now been elevated to the national theatre, with certain public officials outrightly accusing one another of aiding and abetting Liberia’s ignominious foreign policy decline.

According to Grand Bassa County Senator Nyonblee Karnga-Lawrence, former Foreign Affairs Minister Cllr. Gbehzongar Findley, who is also contesting the Grand Bassa County Senate seat in the December 8, 2020 midterm senatorial and referendum elections, recently took to the airwaves in the port city of Buchanan to throw jibes at her, blaming the Grand Bassa County lawmaker for the AU debt.

Senator Lawrence wasted no time in reacting to the reported comments from Cllr. Findley with a roaring retort. “Sooooooooooo!!! Mr. Gbezongar Findley sat shamelessly on the radio in Bassa and said to the Bassa people that Senator Nyonblee Karnaga-Lawrence should be blamed for AU’s debt because she didn’t put the money in the national budget? So the Senator is responsible for his incompetence??? Beat them December 8 is a must!!!”

Immediately following her social media retort to Cllr. Findley’s assertion that she should be blamed for Liberia’s debt to the African Union, another ruling party lawmaker took seize of the situation to come down hard on Senator Lawrence, in defense of the former Foreign Minister who is running in Grand Bassa County on the ticket of the Coalition for Democratic Change.

In his Facebook commentary against Senator Nyonblee Karnga-Lawrence titled: “The Doctrines of Oversight, Power of the Purse and Checks and Balances”, Montserrado County District #8 Representative, Acarous Moses Gray, came in strong support of Cllr. Findley.

“Sad that we will have to come here and ask that you stop the laughter on the serious matter, Madam Liberty Party Political Leader. As a member of the Committee on Foreign Affairs in the Liberian Senate you have clear oversight but failed to exercise such when you have absolutely no history of making a case for arrears payments to the AU. You failed to write a single communication to the plenary on this subject matter or even cite the ministry by the power vested in you. The people elected you for three cardinal reasons which include your oversight responsibility but tell us how have you exercised such oversight over the Foreign Ministry as a member of the Committee on Foreign Affairs?” Representative Gray queried Senator Lawrence.

“Madam Political Leader, you need to also tell us what role you played in ensuring that the “power of the purse” became effective in the execution of your legislative constitutional duty. Madam Senator Political Leader, you have also dismally failed to use your constitutional checks and balances. Where are the haters and so-called educated underachievers who think to know all but absolutely know little?” Gray further countered.

In a tit-for-tat retort, Madam Lawrence quickly replied to her colleague lawmaker.

“Rather than blindly grasping at straw, Acarous Moses Gray, maybe it’s time to open your eyes and look at the embarrassing incompetence across the street. Who is the chief architect of Liberia’s foreign policy again? And oh, who screams and calls other Liberians “hate-position” because they try to point out the lapses and embarrassing incompetence? I am laughing at the ridiculousness and shamelessness in the blame-shifting of the former Minister of Foreign Affairs, under whose watch the country is being so maligned and disgraced. Even for an administration that is discredited for shifting blame and taking no responsibility for its incompetence, to blame a senator for the administration’s failure to pay international dues and meet international obligations for which the reputation of our country is being soiled, is a new record low! Under his watch, a former passport director was also just criminally designated by a foreign country. Maybe I should have passed a specific law to stop the alleged criminal sale of Liberian Passports; right? I laughed at the folly of the Minister. But my heart bleeds, and I weep for my country! And if the most you can do is join the Executive to shift blame too, God help us!” Senator Lawrence blasted.

In the midst of the heated argument between his colleague lawmakers, River Gee District #3 Representative Francis Saidy Dopoh lamented that Representative Acarous Gray had shifted the debate on Liberia’s status at the AU to a blame game on CPP lawmakers.

“Well, such a feeble attack suggests his limitation on the Budget process since 2018. The Legislature has appropriated about $4.0 million for contribution to International Organizations from 2018 to 2020. In fact, at the ongoing hearing, I requested through the Budget Committee, a list of all payments made to international organizations for FY-2019/2020 and the proposal for FY-2020/2021,” Representative Dopoh disclosed.

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