Congress for Democratic Change or CDC Lawmaker Acarous Moses Gray, who returned nine cartoons of a total of 16 cartoons of Tuna Fish donated to his staffers as a gift from Vice President Joseph N. Boakai , has been asked to produce the balance six cartoons of fish that he is said to have rejected.
The corridors of the Capitol Building were a scene of drama and bitter exchanges between Representative Gray, who personally led his staff to return the gift, and the office of Vice President Boakai, especially the “Movement for Boakai for President”, a campaign group.
The Movement has reportedly made similar donations to about 105 staffers working in the offices of members of the House of Representatives, including the Office of Speaker Alex Tyler. But Representative Gray, whose political leader Senator George Weah is also eying the Presidency come 2017 like V.P. Boakai, insisted that he could not accept gift from a political opponent. Therefore, he returned the cartoons of Tuna Fish, though not in total.
It all started on Tuesday, 5 April in the evening hours, when the Movement decided to share the donated Tuna Fish with lawmakers. Accordingly, 16 cartoons of Tuna Fish were allotted for each representative’s office, including the office of Rep. Acarous Gray.
But upon the delivery of the fish to the office of the CDC lawmaker, he subsequently ordered his staffers to return them. However, under the watchful eyes of Rep. Gray, it was established that instead of the 16 cartoons, only nine were delivered, something the Movement has rejected, demanding the lawmaker’s office to return the gift in total rather than partially.
Apparently due to the open rejection which many say is affront to Vice President Boakai, noise erupted in the corridors of the Capitol Building with officials of the Boakai Movement demanding the balance six cartoons of Tuna Fish.
In response, Gray stated he´s not in the know of the gift and that the Boakai Movement intruded his office, something he claims is in total violation of the Code of Conduct. He further argued that the nation is heading for elections and as such, his office cannot receive gift from the ruling Unity Party’s forerunner for the Presidency.
Gray noted, it is unfortunate that the Vice President and his movement sent him expired Tuna Fish without his knowledge, terming the gesture as “political bribery and town bomb” intended to entrap him in the impending elections.
Two weeks ago, a group under the banner ‘Citizens United Against Exploitation’ accused the office of Vice President Joseph Boakai of continuously distributing expired Tuna Fish to Liberians, but the Office of Ambassador Boakai has consistently rejected the claim, clarifying that fish is fresh and safe for human consumption In a statement, the group said it has learnt with complete shock and dismay that the office of the Vice President of the Republic of Liberia, would continue to distribute expired Tuna Fish to some members of the Liberian populace.
It said while it welcomes assistance to the population, it is sad to note that Amb. Joseph Boakai, who is seeking the Presidency come 2017, would be involved in such act which is detrimental to the health of the struggling Liberian people most of whom are languishing in abject poverty.
Certificates of authentication from the manufacturer John West Food Limited and the Ministry of Health say the fish is fit for consumption up to June 2016 and that all other products brought into Liberia under the brand John West are duly certified by the producers. John West Foods Incorporated is a reputable international firm based in the U.K. that has been in business since 1857.
A communication dated August 6, 2015 from the John West Foods Ltd., says the consignment being distributed labeled ‘Best before December 2015’ has an extension of six months which makes it best before end of June 2016.
By E. J. Nathaniel Daygbor-Edited by Jonathan Browne