Liberia: Defense Minister SamuKai Apologizes to Sirleaf
The Minister of National Defense, Brownie J. Samukai, has apologized to President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and his colleagues in government about comments made against them in a secret recording carried leaked by the former Managing Director of the Roberts International Airport (RIA) Ellen Cockrum.
Addressing journalists in Monrovia at the Ministry of Information regular press briefing on Thursday, September 5, 2013, Minister Samukai revealed that when he recognized as a normal human being that his own fault has come to the public domain it is incumbent upon him to take responsibility for such action.
“First, I want to tell you that I take full responsibility for what you heard although it is greatly edited and I choose not to go into that version. I take full responsibility to granting the kind of access that Ellen Cockrum had to me that gave her the opportunity to do the recording that she did.”
Samukai said gossip has been a part of life and no one is above it and though some times the gossips may not come out good but it does not mean you hate the individual about whom you gossip.
Continued Samukai: “As a person, if you believe that you are above the fray of gossiping then I wish you well in everything that you choose to do.”
The Defense Minister went on to offer his deepest apology to the President Johnson Sirleaf and some of his colleagues who were mentioned in the secret tape recorded by Cockrum earlier this year terming his words as “inappropriate and in some cases offensive.”
He said his conversation with Cockrum does not reflect the integrity of all of the efforts of the government of Liberia in bringing sanity and dignity to country while again terming his words as “unguided”
“For this madam President I am Sorry. And to my countrymen I want to reassure you that I remain committed in serving our common patrimony. After thirty-five years of public service, I hold no better pride but coming out to serve my country with pride and dignity.”
“In the service that I rendered, I have never been accused and convicted of any criminal act or neither have I been convicted of any act of impropriety in government, in the private sector as well as the United Nations where I worked.”
Mr. Samukai who has been seriously embarrassed by the Cockrum secret recording said he met the former RIA chief two years ago at Harvard University in the United States of America through some common friends and only tried to help her (Cockrum) come back home from the Diaspora to serve her nation.
Quizzed by journalists on whether he was prepared to relinquish his post due to the embarrassment he caused to the president and his colleagues by his actions Samukai responded adding: “The issue of resignation is not an issue. I don’t think you should be worried about whether I resign or don’t resign.”
The Cockrum tape was released in early August and came as a shock to everyone who knows the tough talking minister of defense with some calling for the President to ask him to tender in his resignation.
Sources close to the minister also say the ordeal caused him serious embarrassment and loss of confidence in Cockrum.