Liberia: Muslims Divided Over Honoring Program Held for President Weah; As President Weah Warns Against Divisiveness
Monrovia – Division has ensued among Liberians Muslims over an honoring program held in honor of President George Manneh Weah, as an opposing group to the appreciation said the event was staged managed.
On Sunday, November 29, some Muslim women and organizations held an appreciation program for President Weah, in recognition of his ability to maintain peace among all faiths.
But the Chairman of the Concern Muslim Youths of Liberia, Amara M. Fofana said it was unfortunate for the Religious Advisor on Islamic Affairs to President Weah Ousmane T. Jalloh to stage managed such occasion, when one of their kind (Kabina Ja’neh) had been treated unfairly by President Weah.
“We have disagreed with the appreciation program of President Weah, because it was not necessary.”
“How can you appreciate someone who and sits on evil plans against your own. We are referring to the President, a former peace ambassador who was perceived to be a unifier.”
He said those who attended the program were paid to do so, and their number does not constitute one percent of the total Muslim population in Liberia, which signifies that the program was rejected by majority Muslims.
“We are saying, until the President can regret his action against the Muslim Community, by illegally removing one of our own (Justice Ja’neh), we are not prepared to do business with him,” Amara said.
He said Muslims were not interested in the appreciation program, because, Mr. Jalloh is an advisor to President Weah for only “CDC Muslims and not Muslims in Liberia.”
“Two months ago, when Representative Jimmy Smith attacked the Muslim Community, we called the attention of Mr. Jalloh and he did not pay credence to it, because Jimmy Smith is a CDCian and speaking against his action will hamper the campaign for CDC.”
“This is why yesterday, we took that action not to attend the program as a way of protesting.”
At the same time, Mr. Fofana noted that the guest speaker message, calling on Muslims to unite and support President Weah was a ‘paid-for’ statement, which he believes was scripted by hierarchy within the government circle.
However, President George Manneh Weah during the honoring program, warned against divisiveness in the Muslim Community and Liberia at large.
“You cannot tear a country that you want to lead down,” President Weah threw words at oppositions.
“Since 1847, there have been government after government and there will be government after this government. I know my critics will listen to me, they can say what they want to, but you can see clearly that I’m changing even the villages in Liberia.”
He said the process of support should be reciprocal, even though the guest speaker Shiek Mohammed Awah had informed him to forgive those who seek his ‘administration’s downfall.’
Nevertheless, his disenchantment, he encouraged every Liberian to do the right thing.
“If you are not happy for me and when you are there, you want me to be happy for you? It’s vice-versa of human life, so it’s part of human life that of you are not happy for me, I will not be,” Weah stressed.
“Only Allah knows the heart of a person an only Allah judges. While you are living, do the right thing by caring for people,” he said.
President Weah further informed the Muslim Community that instead of brewing conflict among themselves, they must embrace peace.
According to him, the strive to foster peace must be a concern of faiths, especially Muslims and Christians.
“Peace helps us to unite. Liberia as a nation, cannot divorce its religious diversity. If Muslims and Christians do not get together to foster peace, there will be a problem, because the aftermath will be attributed to Liberians,” he averred.
He urged every Liberian to see beyond troubles and do the right things, urging religious leaders to speak to people minds about positivity.
He admonished citizens against paying heed to those are in the diaspora and are doing things to provoke chaos in Liberia.
He said: “Before God and Allah, I am an ordinary person and no saint. I am the same George Weah that went to Muslim Congress, that lived in Gebrata.”
“I personally lived with Mandingos and Fulani in Gebrata,” he said.
President Weah additionally encouraged Liberians to work within their range, stating “there are people who are still struggling in Liberia and have nothing to eat a day, but his leadership is working to turn such around narrative positively.”
For his part, the guest speaker at appreciation ceremony, Sheikh Mohammed Awah also stressed the importance for Muslims to put aside their disenchantment and appreciate President Weah for considering one of their kind for the first time, as religion adviser on Islamic Affairs.
“Whosoever does not show appreciation as Muslim, will not show appreciation, relating his thought to the Islamic relation,” Awah maintained.
“There is no nation without challenges, even the great United States of America.”
He added that politics is a part of the Islamic Religion and that whenever there is disunity, it’s important to unify.
According to Awah, President Weah has since demonstrated that he is a man of integrity, amidst the struggle government is encountering.
Awah called on Muslims to support the Weah-led administration, stating that President Weah cannot do things alone.
For this reason, he wants Muslims to see it befitting to show respect and glorify President Weah, because of his work in fostering peace.
“Ladies and gentlemen, I have come to tell you, it is up to you to continue supporting the President so that he can succeed,” Shieik Awah added.
He, in the meantime, called on President Weah to “always forgive those who speak negative things about his work due their different political orientations.”
Meanwhile, Montserrado County District 5 Representative and a senatorial hopeful of Montserrado County, Thomas Fallah described the occasion as “a new dawn in Liberia’s history.”
“As Liberians, this is a new dawn in our history owing to the fact that President Weah, instead of going to church as a Christian, chose to identify with members of the Muslim faith,” Fallah noted.
“Thank you, Mr. President, for being tolerant and accepting all faiths. He’s tolerant to the extent that he even embraces those in the opposition.”