President Weah Preaches Religious Tolerance

President George Weah.

In Independence Day Message

Without reference to any specific group, President George Weah has called on the religious community to use their platforms not for religious violence but for sustenance of peace and unity.

In his Independence Day’s message to the nation, the President said, “No matter how polarizing our democratic discourse may become, never again should we resort to violence to resolve our differences.  We are all one people, irrespective of our political, ethnic or religious persuasions.   Let me call on those religious leaders who are using their platforms to predict religious war, to instead use their influence to preach peace, prosperity and development.”

President Weah’s call came following what sounded like a threat but more of a concern raised over bad governance and corruption by the Chief Imam of Liberia, Ali Krayee, when he spoke on Eid al Adha (otherwise referred to as Abraham Day) for the Muslims.

In his statement, the Chief Imam underscored the misuse of public funds for the benefit of individuals, hypocrisies of the religious community, and injustices carried out by judicial actors against poor civilians.

Imam Krayee indicated in his statement that there will be a time that citizens, instead of using the ballot as a weapon to dispossess politicians, will use different methods of retaliating against corrupt and wicked leaders who continue to inject emotional pains in the citizens.

President Weah said that as Liberians express their wish for development, there could be no sustainable development without peace, and in order to maintain the peace existing now, everyone, including religious leaders, should approach issues civilly without threat of violence or war that is still fresh in history.

“My Government will therefore continue to create the conditions necessary for the rights of every Liberian to be fully respected, regardless of political background, religion or ethnicity.

Each one of us has a stake in the future of our beloved country.  We should therefore play our part in ensuring that we do not engage in acts that could derail the hard-earned peace that we now enjoy.  We have reached this far as a Nation through the toil and tears of our ancestors. That is why maintaining peace remains the foundation of the Pro-poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development. It is a responsibility for which we must all be held collectively accountable,” said President Weah.

The 2021 Independence Day celebration, comparing it with other celebrations in the past, was a lukewarm one that did not attract much public excitement.  

In his speech, the President mentioned that he has taken measures, including budgetary allotments, to fight the Coronavirus disease, boasting of encouraging tidings from the Health Ministry about decline in cases of the virus. The US Government has also brought in 302,400 doses of the Johnson & Johnson COVAX vaccines.

However, the prevalence of COVID-19 serves as one of the factors that turned the celebration lukewarm.

Another issue of concern is the economic constraint facing the population.  Many civil servants and private sector workers could not receive salaries to enable them to provide for their families.  Moreover, other Liberian citizens expressed on social media and on other communication platforms that at 174 years, Liberia cannot boast of anything tangible, and therefore celebrating an Independence Day means nothing to them.