Liberia Council of Churches Calls on Rep. George to Desist from Making Inflammatory Statements

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MONROVIA – It appears that the rigmarole between the Liberia Council of Churches (LCC) and controversial Montserrado County district # 7 Representative Solomon Claudius George is far from ending as evidenced by the latest statement issued by the Council, calling on the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) lawmaker to desist from finding excuses for making inflammatory comments in the society.

Lawmaker George is an Executive Committee member of the governing CDC.

He landed into trouble with the LCC when he because over-zealous and overwhelmed as a result of the huge turnout of his constituents to welcome the President George Manneh Weah and pleaded with the Liberian leader to make him the Director of Police Director at a program marking the President’s tour in Township of West Point.

 “Mr. President, you know me, maybe you want to win Nobel Peace Prize, but as for me I don’t want to win Noble Peace Prize. I want to be police director for just six months or one year, some people will lost”. Representative George stated during the program.

But the Liberia Council of Churches (LCC)-an ecumenical group comprising of churches and religious institutions, promptly reacted by scolding and bringing the CDC lawmaker to check for his utterance.

The Council termed the lawmaker’s declaration as reckless, and called on him to rescind his statement.

“As a an institution whose task is to preach the gospel of righteousness, joy, goodness, goodwill and spiritual wisdom, the LCC says it is appalled that Representative George would express his enthusiasm for president Weah’s leadership in such a disgraceful manner,” LCC said in a statement.

“Representative George touting idea of people disappearing is completely out of touch with the peace and security that Liberians cherish as vital to our democracy.”

The LCC also called on President Weah to publicly distant himself from the lawmaker’s malicious and vicious utterances.

“The Council believes, if not acted upon, such a wild pronouncement from a sitting lawmaker would plunge Liberia into a failed state of war, politically induced killings and the disappearance of politicians and their supporters. This is not the values many people died and sacrificed for over the years and as such, it must be condemned by all Liberians irrespective of your association.”

In reaction, Representative George used disparaging comments against the Council and its head at a news conference held at his office last week.

He wondered why the Council did not invite him to clarify his comments, but went ahead and issue a press statement to attack him personally.

 “I am an elder of this country, an elder of the Body of Christ and a legislator. If I do anything wrong, the biblical way to solve this problem is that, this Rev. Reeves who wrote this document on me should have order me to meet them for a discussion. (But) they are rebuking an elder of the state, church and an elder in the country openly. They disrespect me, I will disrespect them”.

Targeting Weah?

Representative George maintained that the statement issued by the Council is not only an attack on him, but it is “a cleverly gathering by the enemies of Liberia to get rid of Ambassador George Manneh Weah as President of the Republic of Liberia.”

He emphasized that these enemies want to disrupt the holding of a peaceful elections in 2023 because, they are cognizant that President Weah would win.

He claimed that critics of President Weah and his government are holding discussions on the possibility of an interim government in Liberia and as such, they are engage into acts to make the nation unstable.

“What they want to do is to disrupt the elections. They are looking for all the means to the extent that they are bringing in the Gray D. Allison style of getting rid of people that are around the President so they can get rid of the President. These people have seen that George Weah will win the next elections and they are afraid and gossiping and discussing about an interim government.”

Representative George claimed that his assertions made during the tour of the President in his district are being misconstrued and wickedly torn apart by some members of the public.

 “They should have asked disappear how? I never insinuated or said I will make the opposition to disappear. They are hidden hands. This Rev. Reeves ran against my government for the vice presidential seat and he lost. Therefore, he cannot use God to attack me. He lacks the moral rectitude or authority to speak anything.”

LCC respond

But in a statement issued in Monrovia over the week end, the LCC stated: “ 

We are delighted that Representative Solomon George took the time to respond to our letter. He said a lot but there are few rubies in the rubble that need to be addressed. It is most unfortunate that Lawmaker George pairs himself with President George Weah to say “if you attack me you attack our president.”

It called on Representative George to stop hiding behind the President for his “reckless” statement made.

The Council maintained that the Liberian people never voted Solomon George President, adding that. “President Weah did not make this reckless statement.”

It maintained that though the CDC lawmaker claimed that the LCC took his statement made in West Point out of context, he (George) failed to clearly explain or clarify what did he really mean by what was said in the township.

“Whom will he make disappear if he were made the Director of Police for a period? Why should anyone disappear in the first place? Does he understand that in a democracy, President Weah is the leader of all, those who support him and those who oppose him?”

The Liberia Council of Churches emphasized that it took the decision to address Representative George in the public because, his assertions threatening to make people disappear was also made in the public.

 “Had he (George) made a private statement then the place to address private matters is private, but Mr. George made a horrible public statement that he cannot morally or politically defend. Name calling is a poor substitute for being irresponsible in speech.”

Meanwhile, the LCC has agreed to a “sit down meeting” with Representative George to “discuss how better he can conduct himself in public and tailor his statements to support peace and security for all Liberians.”

“The Council can’t agree with him more that some around the president are by their own misbehavior and indiscretion tarnishing the presidency. That the president in his good wisdom must continue to act in a way as to purge his government in order to regain public confidence.”

Making inflammatory statements

As a Lawmaker, the Council suggested that “Representative George must never forget that there is no excuse to operate callously by making statement that are inflammatory.”

“As President of the Liberia Council of Churches I will continue to speak truth to power and speak a powerful truth. We are on the side of truth and justice and mercy. That is our calling. That is our commitment and that is the only basis by which we will continue to engage in public discourse.”

Representative George has vowed to openly respond to the LCC if it dares to react to his previous comments made at the latest news conference held at his office.

President’s Mute

The silence of President George Manneh Weah on assertions made by Representative George when he visited the township of West Point remains the root cause of the growing feud between the LCC and the CDC lawmaker who described the Council as a satanic body comprising of false prophets and others who are allegedly engaged into homosexual acts.

Since the disappearance comments were made by Representative George, the office of President Weah or the government in particular is yet to distance itself from these assertions.

However, the lawmaker’s statement comes in the wake of the growing wave of insecurity, secret and mysterious killings, counter attacks against opposition politicians and groups by some members of the ruling party, among others.

Bulk of Representative George constituents are from the densely populated Township of West Point-an area noted for housing wayward youths and others who are engaged into unwholesome practices.

He’s on record for attributing his uncompromising harsh posture and utterances against his colleagues and others on critical national issues to the need for his constituents’ behavior and attitude to be reflected in their representation at the National Legislature when he appeared as guest on the Prime Morning Show (PMS) on Prime FM 105.5 on Wednesday, July 6.

Representative George observed that most of those who elected him, particularly residents of are “grona people” and as such, whatever he does should be a true representation of his constituents.

In Liberia, “grona people” refer to those who engage into hostile or unwholesome acts or practices to earn a living or survive.

Representative George maintained that the harsh manner and form in which he respond to national issues makes him to be admired and loved by vast majority of his constituents.

“If you go down West Point, most of the people there are not silent; they are rivalry people or what we called ‘grona people’. So you as the Representative of West Point, you think I should be soft or intelligent like you or as they are? You work in terms, for, with, and by the people. And guess what, they love me for that. The people know that I am their man and I am from them. So, they accept me for what I am”.

“If you go and tell the people ‘Solomon George can cuss’, they will say ‘we like him like that talk something different. I don’t smoke or drink (alcohol). Only water I can drink and get hard. Other people think I can smoke, I am naturally hard”.

Getting “hard” in Liberia means to take you dangerous illegal drugs or substances including marijuana, cocaine, among others.

The current rift or feud between the Church and Representative George could further escalate if President Weah continues to sit with folded hands, feeling comfortable to the alleged “reckless and inflammatory” comments made by his party’s executive Representative Solomon George during his visit in the Township of Weah as part of his tour in Montserrado.

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