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Last Tuesday’s Tuna Fish Row at the Capitol

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Held broke loose at the Capitol Building – the seat of the Liberian Legislature, last Tuesday, April 5, 2016, over the much-talked about imported tuna fish being distributed by the Office of the Vice
President of Liberia.
The latter is reported to have distributed cartoons of the tuna fish among several members of the Legislature, including Representative Acarous Moses Gray of Montserrado County. The office of Representative Gray is reported to have signed for sixteen cartoons of the Tuna Fish in his absence, but the representative rejected the offer upon return to his office, demanding the return of the consignment of fish – nine cartoons of which were returned.
Not only that Representative Acarous Moses Gray refused and ordered the return of the fish, according to eye witnesses at the Capitol Building, but he led verbal violent process of returning the fish up to the office of the Vice President of Liberia – even though he was then in South Africa. The alarming pace of his voice, which included the use of invectives and other unwholesome statements against the Vice President, as he led his office staff with the nine cartoons of Tuna Fish to the office of the VP were enough to attract attentions from other offices with the entire Capitol Building.

An inquiry from a few staff of the office of the Vice President who proceeded to Representative Gray’s Office upon depositing the cartoons of fish before the former’s office further exacerbated the situation almost into a full violent row, especially emanating from the representative.

Representative Gray may have reserved the right to reject the offer made by the Vice President’s Office, but not to proceed violently to the latter’s office in the manner and form he did as an “HONORABLE MAN” in the ‘House of Elders’ as the Capitola Building is referred to by many well knowledgeable about the essence of being a Legislator. Instead, from a realistic perspective, he should have first dealt with his staff who signed for the sixteen cartoons of Tuna Fish and the  instructed that the fish be taken to the ground floor of the building – the distribution center, from where they (Gray’s Office staff) received the consignment.
While the sentiments pursued by Representative Gray on a number of radio talk shows the day following the incident were quite understood, there was no case to attract such public sentiments- even though a few admirers of his may have blindly sided with the inflated impressions he attempted creating in the eyes and ears of the public.

Acarous Moses Gray and his likes must be made to respect the Vice President of Liberia and necessarily Joseph N. Boakai – the politician attempting to seek the nation’s highest office. To have even exhibited such arrogance and unruly conduct in the corridor of the Capitol  Building only exposes him as someone who shouldn’t be in that building. Many of us had thought Representative Gray – upon his ascendancy, would have established himself as a ‘young and progressive  elder’ in the Legislature – a bridge for other young people to walk.

Gray and his likes, especially in the Congress for Democratic Change, CDC, may be placing too much un-necessary attention on the activities of Vice President Joseph N. Boakai in Monrovia and disregarding the activities of the CDC in the greater parts of Liberia, including the restructuring of the party, with general and presidential elections just eighteen months from now.

To now result to reactionary politics – using the radio airwaves of Monrovia may just be politically disastrously for Representative Gray and his CDC in the absence of hard work, considering the changing political variables which interplay in our politics. It would be very politically foolhardy for CDCians to still believe that the variables which existed in their favor during the 2005 general and presidential elections still exist – no, no. There’s truly a decline in the popularity of the CDC and Senator George Manneh Weah, especially with their performances nationwide and in the Liberian Senate.

It may still not be late for them, if and only if Acarous Moses Gray and his likes focus mostly on resurrecting the party – CDC, in the greater parts of Liberia and not only through radio phone-in and talk shows in Central Monrovia. When this is done and there is a show of respect for national leaders, including the Vice President of Liberia – Mr. Joseph N. Boakai, we could see the re-emergence of the Congress for Democratic Change as a formidable side in Liberia’s body politics.


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