The Historic Providence Baptist Church
Response to an article, published in the Liberian Observer News Paper: “To Help Make President George Manneh Weah A Benevolent Dictator.”
By Rev. Dr. Samuel B. Reeves, Jr., Senior Pastor
Dear Citizens, Residents and Friends of Liberia:
I read with fear, doubt, shock, disappointment and sadness, the undemocratic idea that the Finance Minister is reported to have shared. This is an untimely, terrifying and downright dangerous statement, that no conscious Liberian can defend.
At first, I did not want to dignify such a far fetched statement: “To help make President George Manneh Weah a Benevolent Dictator,” with an answer. Clearly, it suggests a position that is totally at odds with the ideals and aspirations of the Liberian People. It departs from our nation’s laws. It defiles our core values of collective responsibility upon which we have established the principles of democracy. However, on second thought, I agree with the African proverb, “It is the calm and silent water that drowns a man.“
Not wanting to drown, I decided that I am under holy duty to totally disagree, and strongly oppose the diabolical idea of, “A Benevolent Dictator.”
Under no moral circumstances or ethical claims can I ever accept the notion that President Weah should be made, “A Benevolent Dictator”. It is possible that Citizen Tweah may have been well intended when he made this tragic statement, yet, the consequences are dangerous and fatal. It brings to mind someone catching clean water in a diseased, infested container. I hope and pray that President Weah is not tempted to pursue this destructive line of thinking.
As a person of Christian Faith, I hold the view that one is either a leader under the benevolent blessings of God, or a dictator who is under the control of the devil. From a historical perspective, no dictator can be compassionate nor benevolent! One is either an inspirational leader who knows how to influence and inspire the people whom he/she governs for the benefit of all under the principle of, “one for all and all for one,” or, one is not.
What we, and those who currently govern us should be focused on are the real issues that are critical to the people’s success. Some are as follows: What will it take to move Liberia forward during this pandemic COVID-19, and how can Liberia harness its emerging democracy?
Who are the key tribal communal, business and religious leaders needed for pro-poor growth?
Who are the critical national, African and global partners that are required to mobilize the country, to achieve the educational, economic, health and housing needs essential to the people’s peace, security and well-being?
Another vital question that must be asked and answered is, “How can the people and the leaders realize the promises made by the politicians they voted for?”
If these important issues relating to the livelihood of “We, the People” are intelligently and sincerely implemented with love for God and Country, then we can be assured of A Benevolent God, whose blessings will be showered down on Liberia. These blessings will not permit any devilish idea to desecrate the sanctity of our Nation, like proposing, “A Benevolent Dictator”. These blessings will instead compel us to commit to the living principle of Liberia, “with liberty and justice for all.”
I pray that, upon reflection, Citizen Tweah will prayerfully and humbly retract this ungodly statement especially because he holds such a prominent position in the Government of Liberia, before it is misunderstood as sedition to the spirit and intent of the governing instrument, the Constitution of the Republic of Liberia.
Citizen Tweah should honor his office and join those who went before him, such as: the Honorable Charles Sherman, during the Tubman Administration, Hon. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, during the Tolbert Administration, Hon. Perry Zulu and Hon. Emmanuel Shaw, during the Doe Military and Civil Administrations, Hon. Byron Tarr, during the Sawyer Interim Administration, Hon. Charles Bright, during the Taylor Administration, Hon. Lusine Kamara, during the Bryant Interim Administration, or, Hon. Antoinette Sayeh and Hon. Augustine Ngafuan, during the Johnson-Sirleaf Administration. The Finance Minister must never ever utter such a callous phrase again.
The mere thought that during this day Liberians will ignore its constitutional system is sacrilege. I call on each of us to let freedom ring and reign. We can do this by flatly rejecting, “A Benevolent Dictator”. This is the moral, wise and godly thing to do!