President George Manneh Weah is pleading with the Liberian Council of Churches to step in and lead the way for unity among Liberians, after protest organizers Council of Patriots (COP) aborted its plans to disrupt the observance of the country’s 172nd Independence Anniversary through non-stop nationwide protest.
“Protest for things that are not right is not the way for a country to move forward,” President Weah said during an intercessory service on Sunday, 21 July at the Liberty Christian Center in Johnsonville, Montserrado County.
The COP had initially announced a plan to disrupt the July 26, 2019 Independence Day celebration with a non-stop protest beginning 24 July until government meets its demands.
But the group suddenly changed plans after the United States Embassy near Monrovia indicated that while it supports the rights of citizens to lawfully apply to assemble or convey their views to elected officials, “the intent to do so during the week of July 22 is misplaced.”
The COP organized a peaceful protest on 7 June this year, in what appeared like a national holiday, to demand reforms in government.
“So today in the spirit of peace and unity, since we are in the Church, I will now turn to my fathers, Council of Churches members, Clergy – unity starts from you and it comes to us, because you are the direction of this nation,” Mr. Weah stresses.
He wonders what the Church expects “us to do” if it is not speaking, urging that it takes the lead in his quest for unity here.
President Weah urges Liberians to make sure that they do all they can for this country to move forward, arguing that as president, he sits in an office and brings ideas that “you” will sit on the table with him to move the country forward.
As president, he notes that he can’t do it alone, stressing the need for his cabinet ministers, citizens and the private sector to conglomerate their ideas to move the country forward instead of tearing each other down.
Mr. Weah expresses thanks and praises to the Almighty God for the 172nd Independence Anniversary of Liberia, blessing God’s Holy name for the guidance and protection he has given to the country throughout the many years.
He notes that since Liberia’s founding in 1847 as the first independent country in Africa, the nation has often sailed on rough seas and through contrary winds, faced many dangers and slid and fell.
But he notes that through it all with God’s steady hands on the wheels, the Almighty has always brought “our ship of faith” to calm weather and safe harbor.
President Weah notes that the gathering at the Liberty Christian Center was intended to pray on behalf of the nation for peace and prosperity to prevail throughout the land.
“We must also intercede in prayer for one another so that the great commandment [may] be obeyed, that we should love our neighbor as ourselves,” he continues.
It is this love, President Weah says, for each other that will ensure that “we are” and remain one people, united, peaceful and strong, regardless of the diversity and differences.
President Weah wishes God’s continuous blessings upon Liberia and Liberians, as well as all of those who reside within the country’s borders as one nation under God so that they will fulfill their destiny and realize the promise of their true potential.
In a rather jovial manner, President Weah addresses a guest preacher from Sass Town, saying the same rumors around that he and his Vice President Jewel Howard – Taylor are not speaking, are the same rumors being heard that the Council of Churches are not speaking.
“The same rumors … you heard that VP and myself, we’re not speaking, that the same rumors we heard that the Council of Churches are not speaking,” Mr. Weah says amid laughter from the congregation.
Mr. Weah and his Vice President Madam Taylor, members of the Legislature, authorities of the Judicial Branch and cabinet members graced the occasion in Johnsonville.
“Together we are stronger. I wish all Liberians a Happy Independence Day in advance,” he concludes.By Winston W. Parley