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Brownie Samukai: A Hero or Villain

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The New Dawn Liberia The New Dawn LiberiaDefense Minister Brownie J. Samukai may be having a lot of sleepless nights these few days. One can only imagine what’s going on in his head right now. One quick guess could be that he wish, he could turn back the hands of time-a kind of déjà vu, I mean. But it’s too late now, he cannot take back those words.

This is because the disgraced former Managing Director of the Roberts International Airport, Ms. Ellen Corkrum has released the secret recording.

What has come up shows clearly what he thinks of his boss and colleagues within Government. And this is what makes his nights more sleepless as he buried his thoughts, I believe, in how future relationships will now be like between he and his colleagues.

Many have expected him to resign by now. But they have been absolutely wrong. In this part of our world  it is very uncommon for a government officials to take such bold decision in the face of rising cost of living standards and the immunities that come with such jobs, except when they are coerced to do so.

But come to think of it, why should he resign when this was just a conversation between he and a friend-one  he was bent on helping to escape prosecution over allegations of theft.

To do so, he had to give Corkrum the assurance that there are others in government who have stolen more than what it is being alleged that she had stolen and President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf have continued to shield them from prosecution, which suggests that they still enjoy her confidence.

Listen to Samukai: “There are people here, who female people,” he says, ” we know, the people took tens of hundreds of thousands of dollars for their direct beneficiaries and in spite of what the people wrote, the people are still working today signing government checks.” He told Corkrum, a drowning woman who was looking for anything to hook onto to release her from the mess she had put herself into.

And so, come to think of the secret recording, one would note that Ms. Corkrum only began recording the conversation between she and Samukai, when she noticed that the Minister of National Defense had put off his security cap and was now spilling out his guts like any frustrated ordinary citizen on the street naively asking, why only Corkrum, when others,  as he would later put it had also stolen huge amounts more than what she’s being accused off.

This is clearly noticeable from the beginning of the recording, because it is not possible that the conversation began like this as have been released:

Conversation begins on tape: Defense Minister Samukai: There is a big money contract coming up for the renovation of RIA. I think he said hundred and something million.

Managing Director Ellen: I’m not aware: the only thing I’ve heard is 30 million for the runway.

Defense Minister Samukai: oh, no, no, no.

Defense Minister Samukai: I told you it is part of that deal. Remember. Can you imagine 130 million, for a brand new airport and it looks like Finance is about to sign. Now whatever Senegelese person you brought, their fear was this is the guy who is gonna do the work.

Managing Director Ellen: No but the guy is not an Engineer.

Defense Minister Samukai: But that’s what I’m telling you. I told you they set this whole thing up. You heard it yourself. You heard what he told me.

Managing Director Ellen: I say complete set up.

Samukai sounds very convinced that Corkrum is innocent and that she was being framed up.

Two of his deputies would soon walked in his office amidst the conversation expressing sympathy saying Corkrum has found herself among: “…., chauvinistic, malicious, ego driven (men). They are male ganging on the lady on issues that they make up.”

So here was Samukai and his deputies trying to assure a woman who is alleged to have stolen half a million of our country’s money that she was innocent of the charges and that she was only being framed up by those in authority to get her off their way to plunder more of our state’s funds.

So, how was he going to get do this? This is where he came up with his game plan.

Samukai: “So Ellen, this is what we do. I will see Rodney. He will not do a story now, but he will investigate little bit more. And I will tell him don’t let those guys use you against my friend. He will say but you know her, because I myself coming show that I’m friendly with him too.

Alright and then we hold it at that particular point. Stick to Clarice, I’ll talk to Clarice. Clarice right now is the main person here. And I will tell Clarice as further to back her idea, would be to; if the President still thinks there should be a further investigation, I will tell her, Madam President, give it to NSA. Let Fumbah people go investigate. Yes, they will find out that she had a relationship with this person, but where did the money go? The money went to pay this service and that service. It would be very clear. So I have no doubt that;  Alright but administratively, you shouldn’t have done that, I accept and for me you’ll know me. Sometime, I slap somebody, I apologized. When I do something, they say Brownie, you went on the radio, I say Madam President, my apology. Next time I will not go on air, but please tell them next time to give my money. And then after that when we come back in to this situation, we will have to work on Peggy. No don’t worry. I myself blew my top on Peggy, everybody knows. She and I went for lunch and we became friends. All of us will be there. She likes to drink some beer. You’ll drink some beer. We eat some food. She likes gossiping. You give her some gossips and then we will leave you’ll on the table and then two of you’ll discuss. And she likes phone calls. You girl what are you cooking? I used to call her just like boyfriend calling girlfriend, and in the end she signed all our (PPCC) papers. But do I have to do that? I’ve got programs to run. I will not allow them to make me ineffective. So if I have to take her to lunch, without no strings attached, but to ease the relationship, I will do it. That’s my attitude. So in this case. I think we will stick with that, and the 2nd thing we will do is, I will try to see Madam President in the few times that is available to her after this High Level Conference, maybe before next week because these hawks will be chasing her. I will try to see her and say Madam President, you know that your girl did a lot of administrative things that she may or may not have been aware of, that is just completely wrong? But I’m also asking are you aware that all of the money she spent actually went to services? Except that she paid it out the wrong way or in a set of way  that other people had? And we will start from there, boy friend because issue, I’ll say yes Madam President, she has a relationship but the man has nothing to do with the place.

Madam President this man is a judge. This man will not just tarnish his bench or his career here. The man just walked into the country and then just close all the doors against himself? Of course not. And then I’ll say Madam President you can even ask the Vice President about his credibility. You know all that kind of stuff. They now trying to create, they want to create the impression, well now you know Ellen is so good. You know she’s got the best credentials, nobody questions her qualification, but I think she allow this guy. That’s the kind of bad way they trying to look at it.”

Samukai’s backdoor conversation only explains how many of our government officials accused of massive theft here often go home laughing with millions untouched.

Oh, did he say the head of the PPCC like gossip, drinking and food, no this one was actually below the belt.

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