Former Foreign Minister Gbehzohngar Findley, now caught between the scissors of a passport gate says he’s constrained to respond to the outlandish comments oozing out of the unfounded accounts from the former Director of Passport & Visas, Mr. Andrew Wonplo linking him to the so-called instruction to trade Liberian Passports to non-Liberians.
He indicates categorically that at no time did he, Amb. Gbehzohngar M. Findley, as Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Liberia, instruct the former Director of Passport & Visas, Mr. Andrew Wonplo to trade Liberian Passports to non-Liberians.
‘My service at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Republic of Liberia was characterized by service to country, commitment to duty, strengthening bilateral and multilateral relationships, upholding the rule of law, and dedication to delivering the statutory mandate of the Ministry; which I did to the best of my ability in conformity with law,’ he stated.
Noteworthy, a release from the office of the ex Minister says the fact that a Liberian passport, as per the Executive Laws on the issuance of Liberian Passports, a Liberian passport is an official document issued by the Government of Liberia by which the bearer is recognized in foreign countries either as a Liberian citizen, an honorary consul, a diplomatic agent or emissary designated by the President of the Republic of Liberia or the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
He continued ‘Consistent with this provision, the Republic of Liberia has had and continues to have, Honorary Consuls representing its relations in varied countries and states, to include: Liberia’s Honorary Consul to Florida, Mr. David Straz who contributed US$1Million for the construction of a US$2Million Polytechnic Project in Sinje (named after him in 2016) but died on November 18, 2019, Italy, Spain, Saudi Arabia, among others, who by law are entitled to Diplomatic Passports.’
The former Minister said as mentioned by Wonplue is a separate case from the unfounded claims that Liberian Passports were traded to non-Liberians. However, he narrated he will elect to provide a clearer understanding of the process of obtaining Passport at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
‘For instance, applicants for Diplomatic Passports must give written proof or evidence that they are employees of the Government of Liberia with a rank or status as contained in these Regulations or individuals who are or may be required or assigned to serve the Republic of Liberia as diplomatic emissaries to foreign nations or Governments; or show proof that a specific waiver of these requirements have been approved by the Minister of Foreign Affairs or a dispensation given by the President of the Republic of Liberia. Said dispensation was at no time abused, but legally utilized under the discharge of my statutory functions,’ the release continued.
The now 2020 Senatorial candidate for Bassa says he’s bewildered by the unprovoked outburst from Mr. Wonplo wherein he’s making claims that he smartly designed as a retaliation to his re-indictment, as well as his designation by the Government of the United States of America.
Mr. Findley quicken to painstakingly indicate that his bid for the Senatorial race in Bassa is not his decision, but the overwhelming decision of the good loving people of Grand Bassa County his birth place.
Stated Findley ‘When I served them, I served with dedication, selflessness, love for county and country, and above all, patriotism to the Republic of Liberia. These interventions, they’ve realized, have greatly impacted the citizenry; which is why they have solicited my consent to return to the Senate; and this solicitation I have embraced for the good of Grand Bassa.’