Religious or Political Advisors? -Citizens Slam Rev. Nimely and Jalloh

MONROVIA – The two Religious Advisors to President George Manneh Weah, Reverend Emmanuel Nimely and Ousman Jalloh, have come under heavy criticism for venturing into active partisan politics when they featured in full Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) regalia and turned up at the recent re-nomination program of President George Manneh Weah, an incident to spurred some citizens to outrightly declare the two religious leaders act as a desecration of their respective offices that are established to provide spiritual guidance and advice to the President on how to govern according to the teachings of God for which they are being paid taxpayer’s money as salaries and benefits.

It can be recalled that the two religious leaders appointed at various times were seen dressed up in full uniforms of the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC), in jubilant mood, answering battle cries, having marched with other partisans to the Antoinette Tubman Stadium (ATS) to show solidarity and support to President Weah at the event that also drew thousands of other partisans across the country.

Some of the citizens premised their assertion and criticism on what they called “distraction and abuse of the functions of the religious advisors”, and noted that the two positions, though not under the official legislated portfolio categories within the civil service, are viewed as very critical to the spiritual growth of the nation because the leaders of the two prominent faiths in the country intercede between the State and God through the offices of the President, therefore, their deportment should benefit the entire country and its people and not a singular political interest.

Speaking to The Analyst last week, Mr. Patrick Sukantoe, who introduced himself as Publicity Secretary of a group called “The Nation’s Conscious”, said it was sad that the two religious leaders would go as far as demeaning their offices; and that they should have known better even if the President or his agents had coerced them, because their positions are “higher than mortal platforms”.

His opinion tallied with that of a Prophetess in Mount Barclay, Madam Sarah Gbah who said that the two gentlemen should not play with the work of God as there is always a repercussion to it.

“They have to be careful that the work of God is not like the worldly one. God cannot be mocked. What you sow is what you will reap. I just hope they understand the implications of lying to their conscience knowing fully well what they are doing is not serving God”, she said.

Others said it does not make sense having such positions in the country when those who are occupying the positions are compromising their faith to please politicians; while other critics even went to the extent of challenging the spirituality of the two individuals, as none of their ‘perceived Godly deeds are yet to manifest”.

“It is a waste of time even having such positions like religious advisors as their deeds have not impacted on governance and the spiritual side of the people they are perceived to be praying for. I see that the evils in the land, corruption, stealing, people getting missing and the untold suffering are enough to show that these people are not doing the right thing. So, what is there to show that they are praying and God is answering our prayer”, an older person who leads a prayer band in Central Monrovia told The Analyst last week.

As for Byron Wilson, a social critic, the President does not even need a religious leader. “In the first place, just ask yourself sincerely. Does the President need a spiritual advisor at all? I can tell you a big no. He owns a church and preaches most of the time. So, who is going to advise him on spiritual matters when he is preaching, casting out demons, cleansing sins and presiding over his own church?

“Besides he has some appreciable knowledge about the Islamic faith as a former Muslim according to himself. So, he knows everything about the two main religions and I don’t see why he must have a religious advisor who is also a Muslim”, Mr. Wilson said.

He said it is a serious mockery of both the religious institutions and the government and its people in the country for someone to be given free money for a title of a job which he does not perform, noting that the best thing both religious leaders to the president could do is to resign and take that full assignment to campaign for the President’s re-election bid.

The indictment against Reverend Nimely, who is also the Senior Pastor in the Forkay Klon Jlaleh Family Fellowship, and his Islamic colleague Jalloh, will for a long time be a burning issue of conflict of interest especially against the background that they have compromised a lot not just on the expected functions but have gone far ahead to be active partisans of the ruling establishment when they should have been neutral, providing spiritual guidance to the State through the offices of the President, by praying for the whole nation and not for the president and his group.

“This is a complete waste to the already dwindling purse of the nation. What is their actual function and who is benefiting from their services? Are the people of Liberia benefitting? If so, then why are we having calamities all over the country and the nation is crying for leaders?

“In Biblical time, God used his prophets to rebuke kings and correct their errors. There were real men of God who spoke to Kings and leaders of nations without caring what to lose or gain. But what can we do about our two “religious advisors” who are comfortable that the nation is bleeding while their pockets and families are taken care of? Let us scrap the positions because they are of no use to the country and its people”, an angry demobilized former member of the Armed Forces of Liberia who is now an active player in the civil society sector said.

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