By Emmanuel wise Jipoh
President George Manneh Weah has sharply reacted to opposition criticism against his trip to the holy land of Israel where he held prayers for his second term bid.
Senator Jeremiah Koung, running mate to Weah’s main rival Amb. Joseph Nyumah Boakai said prayer can’t help the incumbent where the situation has now reached in Liberia.
Koung suggested that God gave humans five senses because there are certain things they must do, adding that they can’t pray for God to take off their shoes because he will not do it.
Koung’s statement came against the backdrop of President Wea’s recent visit to Israel where he was seen praying at various holy sites and swimming in the Dead Sea.
But addressing reporters upon his arrival at the Roberts International Airport (RIA) in Margibi County Monday, 10 July 2023, President Weah described himself as a clean and holy man.
He said he believes in the doctrine of Jesus Christ the Most High, noting that his trip to Israel was a holy trip intended to pray for Liberia and boost his leadership.
“I don’t go to Shrine. Let other people do, I believe in the doctrine so I go to the real God and I pray. And I know he will sustain me and boost my leadership while other people are going to the Shrine,” said President Weah.
“We believe in the doctrine and needed to understand who’s Jesus Christ, and know he’s real and believe in him, and wanted to pray for our country, our families, the peace and for directions,” he continued.
“I don’t do the things the other people do so I went to the real God to pray for Liberia, my country,” President Weah said.
Mr. Weah lashed out at the opposition, saying his visit to Israel wasn’t first of its kind.
He argued that he has been to Israel on two occasions. He explained that his visit to Israel was particularly in the interest of the country on how Israel could be a help to the people of Liberia in terms of harnessing their advanced agricultural capacity.
“Once you don’t have the opportunity other people have, what you need to do is to pray so you have the opportunity. So I’ve visited there and have the blessings. All you need to do is to touch me and you will be blessed,” Mr. Weah noted.
He stressed that while in Israel, his government managed to foster cooperation with Israel through separate meetings with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Isaac Herzog of the State of Israel for sustainable developments and to strengthen bilateral ties between the two countries.
Mr. Weah also explained about his visit to Guinea Bissau, attending the 163rd Extraordinary Summit of ECOWAS held in that part of Africa.
Mr. Weah described it as a milestone achievement, saying the ECOWAS endorsed Liberia’s quest for a non-permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council (UNSC).
He also reaffirmed Liberia’s commitment to working with ECOWAS Chair-elect, Nigeria’s President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, for a smooth corporation to move the ECOWAS States forward.
President Tinubu replaced President Umaro Embaló of Guinea-Bissau.
For his part, Information Minister Ledgerhood Julius Rennie disclosed Liberia’s commitment to opening an Embassy in Israel, something he said will enhance cooperation between the two countries.
He stressed that the government is considering opportunities for development, adding that Israel and Liberia have had a good relationship over the years. Rennie said opening embassies in both countries will boost their ties.