By: Rancy S. Teewia
President George Manneh Weah last Sunday strongly reacted to the guest preacher of the Thanksgiving Day Service for the 172nd National Independence when he said the Liberia Council of Churches should settle its internal wrangling before any intervention between him and Vice President Jewel Howard Taylor.
The Liberian leader’s reaction at the Liberty Christian Center on July 21, 2018, in Johnson, Montserrado County was meant to counter counsel by the Episcopal guest Preacher of the occasion, Rev. Fr. Michael Sieh Tuan, who lamented what he sees as disunity between President Weah and Vice President Taylor in the face of the acute hardship facing the country.
The guest preacher said the information being heard in the mainstream and social media that the President and his Vice President are not in good term is rather embarrassing to the country and its people.
Rev. Father Sieh Tuan therefor called on both parties to avoid enmity between them and forge ahead by focusing on the development goals of the country.
The Episcopal preacher reminded the President that the country was on a bad footing and that the people were suffering; saying that stabilizing the predicaments being faced as the result of the poor state of the economy should be of priority to all Liberians, especially the leadership.
Speaking further, the guest preacher beseeched President Weah to reach out to the people, including those who even disagree with the government’s policies in a bid to find a common ground in the supreme interest of country.
Rev. Father Sieh Tuan reminded President Weah that it is the right of the people to freely express themselves on national issues, pointing out that he should remain focused irrespective of the criticisms so that he will be able to accomplish his goals.
He then urged Liberians to respect their leaders because leadership is next to God. The Liberian prelate indicated that the right to free speech has responsibilities associated with it, saying that the President is the icon of the country to the international community.
But President Weah responded in a rather no small measure proportional to the statement by the reverend father.
The President Dr. Weah said, “The same way you are hearing this on the media, the social media and by rumors that the vice president and I are not united, is by the very media and in the same way we are hearing too that the Liberia Council of Churches is not united; and for this, you need to stop that because if you people are not united how are you expecting us to be united?”
The Liberian leader said he expect the clerics to lead the peace campaign because the church is noted for working for peace. The Church, the President further indicated that church, which is the conscience of the society should take the lead in forging the country forward.
Weah said the church constitutes a set of people who fears God, brings about harmony and uphold morality in every society.
The President indicated that if the country should make progress, the church need to be involved along with government in the forward march of the country. “You should show the direction of the nation,” the President averred, wondering, “If you who supposed to show the direction are not speaking, what do you expect us to do?”
According to him, “We must unite; the church must take the lead. You must sit on the table with me to move the country forward.” The President said moving the country cannot be done by him alone, it instead needs the different kinds of people in the society to join in the effort.
Apparently alluding to the Council of Patriots (COP) and others, President Weah said Protest cannot take the country anywhere, bit that it would retard progress in the country.
The service was well attended with senior government officials, including President George Weah, Vice president Jewel Howard -Taylor as well as thousands of other citizens and the some Christian leaders were in attendance.