Chairman Bryant Says Threats to his Life Justify Spending US$366,000.00 on Armored Jeeps



By Josephus Moses Gray



The Perspective
Atlanta, Georgia
January 6, 2005

Chairman Gyude Bryant
The Chairman of the National Transitional Government of Liberia (NTGL), Charles Gyude Bryant has justified the purchased of armored jeeps valued US$366,00.00 last year. He told the nation on January 4, 2005, during his nationwide address that the amount paid is less than the US$1 million dollars that the government allocated to purchase the jeeps. He alleged that there is a security threat on his life brought to his attention by some foreign governments as well as authorities of ECOWAS prompted him to purchase the bulletproof vehicles.

Bryant insisted that other foreign governments across the Atlantic and Europe also brought to his attention the sinister plan against him and the government that they received through their security intelligence networks and therefore advised that the NTGL be prudent in its security setup.

According to him, it was based on all of these advices that the Special Security Service determined that the NTGL needed US$366,000 to purchase the bulletproof vehicles for him.

“Let lay this matter to rest”, Chairman Bryant stressed, “the money NTGL spent to purchase these cars can never restore basic social services to Liberia.”

Referring to the two bullet- proof jeeps, the Chairman said the Liberian people must put aside what he described as a “minor issue” and deal with matters that are of significant importance in the lives of the people.

During his recent trip to the US in September of 2004, Mr. Bryant said that his government spent $250,000 to buy an armored jeep for himself. But quite recently he has changed not only the dollar amount (from $250,000 to 366,000) but also the number of armored jeeps (from one to two) without any explanation.

Commenting on the price of the nation’s staple food (rice), the Chairman said the price remains the same as published early December of 2004.

He disclosed that his government has made some arrests in connection with the hike in the price of the commodity and promised that the violators will be prosecuted in accordance with the Liberian Laws.

Bryant then indicated that he has already set up a committee to review the price structure of rice to ascertain whether it can be reduced or not.

Making reference to his government’s fiscal and monetary management, he said they are putting into place prudent and transparent accountable measures that will demonstrate to the Liberian people how the minimum revenues are utilized adequately.

He then cited the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL) report for 2004, which shows that the NTGL did not close the year with deficit - which has not occurred in the last 27 years.

Meanwhile, a member of the Council of Economic Advisors to the transitional leader, Mr. Samuel Thompson, has disclosed publicly that there is lack of transparency and accountability in the transitional government.

“I am not satisfied with the transitional government’s financial and economic performance”, Mr. Thompson declared.

When was quizzed on the recent decision of Chairman Bryant to purchase armored vehicles at the value of US$366,000.00, Mr. Thompson said it was a wrong decision to spend such a huge amount behind one vehicle. Mr. Thompson said there are other priority areas such as the supply of electricity, the settling of the mass unemployment rate, among other things.


“The decision by Chairman Bryant to spend US$366,000.00 to buy an armored car is not economically prudent since the security is in the hands of the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL)”, Mr. Thompson reiterated.

Committing on the amount of US$6 million the transitional government spent to purchase jeeps for Government officials, Mr. Thompson divulged that the Council of Economic Advisors did advise Chairman Bryant against buying these vehicles, but contrary to the advice the vehicles were purchased.