Nimba County Senator Prince Yormie Johnson has described the action by Police Inspector General Patrick Sudue and his men last Sunday at his Church as being “Disease possessed.”
“If my church were in full attendance, we would have driven them out, because they were not in compliance with the basic guidelines prescribed for the prevention of the deadly Coronavirus; such as the washing of hands and wearing of protective masks. They came in and by-passed our buckets at the door, so I classified them as disease possessed,” Senator Johnson told Legislative reporters minutes after briefing the Senate plenary currently holding sessions in the Joint Chambers of the Capitol Building.
The controversial Senator and prelate clarified that Churches in Liberia are not against protocols put in place to help minimize mass gathering in areas such as the church, “But this is a democratic country; we are not hooligans but law-abiding people, and we are prepared to go by anything that can save our lives; if closing the church is the solution we will close it, but don’t take us by surprise and that’s what they did.”
Senator Johnson lamented that the Ministry of Health and the National Public Health Institute officials failed to inform the churches of the government’s pending Sunday decision earlier taken on Saturday. “The President(George Weah) called me and said he heard about what happened in my church, and said he didn’t ask anybody to close churches; he said the leadership of the Council of Churches met with him to see how they can mitigate the situation to stop the spread of the virus, and they promised to get back to him; they have not gotten back to him and so he has not given any orders.
Meanwhile, Senators J. Gbleh-bo Brown of Maryland County and Prince Johnson have expressed solidarity with calls for President Weah to play a leadership role by making important statements during such crucial and critical times facing the nation like the ongoing crisis caused by the Coronavirus which, according to them is the case with most countries battling the virus.
It is a widely held view that the incident involving the forceful closure churches last Sunday could have been averted had the President met with all religious leaders prior to the declaration of the quarantine orders.
In a related development, the Senate Pro Tempore Albert Tugbe Chie has disclosed that during its next few sittings before the Easter break, the Senate will convene in the Joint Chambers on Tuesdays and Fridays, while the House of Representatives will hold a session in the same Chambers on Mondays and Thursdays.
As per the Senate’s internal memo, Senators present at yesterday’s sitting all wore the protective mask, a measure which the chairperson on Rules, Order, and Administration has asserted will continue for all sittings.