Liberia Council of Churches President Urges Clergymen to Reject Political Appointments
MONROVIA – The President of the Liberia Council of Churches (LCC), Bishop Kortu K. Brown, has cautioned Clergymen including Bishops, Pastors and Imams to soberly think and reflect before taking up appointed positions in government.
His comments come in the wake of the dismissal of the Managing Director of the Liberia Airport Authority (LAA) renowned Liberian Bishop John Allen Klayee.
Bishop Klayee is the General Overseer and Chief Executive Officer of the famous Jubilee Praise and Worship Church in Liberia, with branches in Guinea and Sierra Leone.
He was dismissed by the Liberian Chief Executive on Tuesday, July 6, 2021, for “administrative reasons”. The Deputy Managing Director for Operations, Martin Hayes, was mandated to act as Managing Director of the LAA pending the appointment of the entity’s new boss.
Following his dismissal, Montserrado County Representative Yekeh Kolubah claimed that the action of the President has also left not only Liberians in suspicion but also the entire congregation of the Jubilee churches in Liberia and elsewhere.
He noted that though the actual ‘administrative reasons’ stated by President Weah for the dismissal of Bishop Klayee is not clear to the public, the Liberian leader should have respectfully asked the Bishop to tender in his resignation instead of dismissing him in such a disgraceful manner and form.
But speaking in an interview with Reporters at his offices in Brewerville, outside Monrovia recently, Bishop Brown disclosed that Representative Kolubah is not the official spokesperson of the LCC.
He stated that in keeping with the 1986 Liberian Constitution, President George Manneh Weah has the right to decide who works in his government or not.
He noted that though the reason given by the Liberian Chief Executive for the dismissal of Bishop Klayee is not sufficient enough or clear, the Christian Community believes that the Liberian leader was executing his constitutional mandate.
He added that the reasons provided by the President cannot clearly state whether or not, he (Weah) was right or wrong to dismiss Bishop Klayee even though the Christian Community in Liberia is in sympathy with the dismissed Bishop.
Bishop Brown said any clergymen who feel that their presence in government could cast a dark cloud and raise questions over their integrity or character whenever they are dismissed should snub or reject any offer to serve in an appointed position in public service.
“The airport is not a church and I don’t know the reason for his (Klayee) dismissal. I have not heard from the President, but administrative reasons are still not reasons sufficient to tell whether the President is right or wrong. Representative Yekeh Kolubah is not the advisor of the Christian community. We have to be truthful. When you are a Bishop and you decide to take a political appointment, you take it within the content of the Constitution of Liberia which says you work at the will and pleasure of the President. If you want to keep that job, you have to build a relationship with the President. If the President dismisses you without justification-that is between him and God”.
“If you are afraid that President Weah could dismiss you in the future, don’t go there. If you are a church leader, Bishop or Pastor, I can empathize with you when you are dismissed even though it questions your reputation. When you work within the government, you should know that you work at the will and pleasure of the pleasure”.
Bishop Brown maintained that Liberian Clergymen should not be reluctant to soberly reflect and think before accepting their appointment to public offices.
“Bishop Klayee accepted a political appointment and there is a formula for that political appointment which is constitutional. Going forward, if you are a man of God and the President of Liberia offers you a job, you must think before you take it”.
He noted that President Weah did not act in his capacity as a Pastor to dismiss Bishop Klayee, but as the President and the Head of State of the Republic of Liberia who has the constitutional backing to decide who works in his government or not.
Bishop Brown further used the occasion to clarify that President Weah’s Forky Klon Jlaleh Family Church is not a member of the Liberia Council of Liberia (LCC).
According to him, there are criteria set for a church to become a part of the LCC and as such, the President’s church is yet to meet those requirements to fully apply to the Council.