Liberia Council of Churches Raises Red Flag on State of Economy, Says All Hands Needed on Deck
Monrovia – The President of the Liberia Council of Churches (LCC), Rev. Dr. Kortu K. Brown is of the opinion that the current state of affairs of the nation is “troubling” and that something tangible needs to be done by the “managers” of the state to fix the economy.
Report by Alaskai Moore Johnson, [email protected]
Rev. Brown, who is the Bishop of the Apostolic Pentecostal Church, told FrontPageAfrica in an exclusive interview Wednesday, September 4, at this New Water In The Desert Church in Brewerville City, that the State of the Economy signs are so troubling that all hands are needed on deck to fix the situation in the country.
The Pentecostal prelate spoke of how worrying the hardship Liberians are going through at the moment. He expressed his frustration that there seems to be no fixing insight for the economy; adding: “This can’t continue to be like this. The governors of the state need to act now and fix the economy. Our people are facing serious hardship.”
Bishop Brown stated that ordinary Liberians, who come to their places of worship are asking them questions that need answers from the managers of the State. He also wondered why should senior government officials, who take-home salaries are US$5000 and more should still be given gasoline and scratch card allowances.
“The last national population census says that more than 80 percent of Liberians are Christians. These people come to our churches and we preach to them. They are feeling the hardship of the economy. They are asking questions: ‘Why are they cutting our salaries? Why the ‘harmonization’ is not affecting those at the top?’ It doesn’t make any sense to give scratch cards and gasoline allowance to government officials who are making more than US$5000,” Rev. Dr. Brown said.
State of Security
Also, speaking on the state of security, the President of the Liberia Council of Churches disclosed that the ‘Church’ is worried about the lawlessness that has engulfed the nation.
Bishop Brown referenced the series of violent incidences that occurred during the by-election in District #15, Montserrado County.
Following the Monday, July 29th, by-election in the county, at least two major rioting incidences took place: one at the National Elections Commission (NEC) when supporters of the parties involved in the election felt that the release of the results was being delayed by the Commission.
On Tuesday, August 13, during the riot at the Elections Commission a female supporter from the end of the opposition collaboration got severely injured on her head and had to be rushed from the scene by fellow partisans/supporters when followers of Abu Kamara sparked a violent stone-throwing melee. Mr. Kamara eventually won the re-run of the by-election. He has since been inducted into office as the Representative of District 15.
On that same day also, an assigned Unity Party (UP) vehicle to Mr. Mohammed Ali, who heads the press and public affairs office of UP, was vandalized.
Four days following the incident at the NEC headquarters in Sinkor, on Saturday, August 17, a violent rioting happened again in District 15. This forced women groups to raise their concern through a protest action.
The women called on the President to ensure that the Liberia National Police and the Ministry of Justice investigate the police officers who witnessed but did not intervene in the assaults in the district and at the National Elections Commission.
“We request an independent and impartial investigation into these incidents and that the results be made accessible to the public within two months,” the women had written in their petition to President Weah.
Speaking further on the violence, Rev. Brown indicated that there was no leadership shown in curtailing the violent situations as they occurred.
He disclosed that the Council of Churches has launched a fact-finding mission in the district to ascertain some important facts about what happened in the district and who are the main culprits.
“We want to have tangible pieces of evidence to name and shame those who instigated the violence. When we are finished with our facts-finding, we are going to announce those people who started the violence and we hope that actions will be taken to individuals, who broke the law and destroyed properties,” he stated.
He stressed that justice can’t be cosmetic and that it must be applied equally to everyone, who comes in conflict with the law of the land.
“There should not be any Liberians, who think that they are more Liberians than others,” he emphasized.
The LCC President disclosed that they are working in collaboration with the World Council of Churches to go through this exercise, which he thinks will produce some dividend for Liberia.
Working Along with the National Elections Commission
He told this newspaper that the LCC will continually work along with the National Elections Commission (NEC) and other major stakeholders toward organizing and holding credible, transparent and fair elections in the country.
Bishop Brown, however, stated that the Church has some concerns, which he hopes the Commission must address timely so that future elections can’t be seen as fertile ground to breed chaos.
“For example, one area that the Council of Churches thinks this Commission should worked on is the duration it takes to announce the result of election. This long duration of time contributed to the violent situation that occurred at the NEC,” he stated.
According to him, the Montserrado County by-election, especially the one in District #15, will serve as a litmus test for the 2020 Special Senatorial Election during which the positions of 15 of the 30 senators, will be up for grasp. He also mentioned the 2023 Presidential and General Elections as also fallen in the same category.
As he concluded, Rev. Brown called on the government to listen to the cry of ordinary Liberians and act to fix the economy, which is now in tattered. He also called on the citizenry to remain patient as they (LCC) will continually engage their government.