The ECOWAS Parliament, currently meeting in the Nigerian Capital Abuja, has warned Liberia to reconsider its constitutional review to make the country a Christian state.
According to the Premium Times Newspaper of Nigeria, Members of the Parliament sounded the warning last Friday, May 20, 2016, following the presentation of Liberia’s country report at the parliament’s ongoing 2016 first ordinary session.
The Premium Times quoted the ECOWAS Parliament Members as noting that the aspect of defining religious differences was a sensitive one, further urging that Liberia should put into consideration the consequences of making such decisions.
The paper quoted Monsterrado County District Six Edwin Snowe as indicating, in response, that the proposal was subject to amendment. “The comments from member states are welcoming, but I do not subscribe to Liberia being a Christian state. It has its security concerns. We have coexisted as a secular state over the years; we have lived together as one people,” said Snowe, further noting that Constitutional reforms come from the people and then it is incumbent upon the leadership to be able to go through those suggestions before putting them up for referendum.
Said Snowe: “It is very unlikely – extremely unlikely that legislation will pass on such and Liberia becomes a Christian state. it was founded on Christian principles, but we respect each other and have lived as one,” saying the Inter-Religious Council of Liberia have had major discussions and have spoken against Liberia becoming a Christian state.
“Yes, it is out, it is before the legislature and I look forward to us denying the passage of such,” the Montserrado Representative emphasized to Members of the Parliament last Friday in Abuja. Liberia seeks to review its constitution and the country’s Constitution Review Committee has held several conferences with emerging proposals for amendments being made by delegates finally meeting in the Central Liberian Town of Gbarnga.
The proposed amendments include the reduction of tenure of the president from six to four years, as well as amendments on laws against dual citizenship, among others.