Liberian leader George Manneh Weah has spoken of cordial ties with the Muslim faith, dismissing reports of the Mandingo Community in Liberia, being unsupportive of his administration.
He described insinuations about the so-called odd relationship with the Mandingos and Muslims as mere perceptions and misinformation spread by people he called “political miscreants”.
President Weah made the remarks on Sunday, February 12, 2023, during his endorsement by the Forceful Women for Weah 2023 in collaboration with the 4B Movement for Weah 2023 at the Ellen Johnson Sirleaf Ministerial Complex in Congo Town.
The President clarified that his relationship or closeness to the Muslim Faith dates back to his school days at the Muslim Congress High School in Monrovia and that he has not felt detached since then.
He termed it as “growing misinformation and false perceptions being spread by political miscreants in the corridor of national politics, and in society in general”, that the Mandingo Community is apprehensive about his leadership, his Government, and the CDC itself.
The President stressed that the massive attendance and huge gathering of people of influence from the Muslim Community at the petitioning program is evident of excellent ties he has had with Muslims as it is the case with all other religious groups in the country.
“These people would not gather here to endorse my candidacy for re-election—for my second presidential term—if they and I were not in any good relationship,” the president asserted. “Quite to the contrary of naysayers’ assertions, I have worked diligently and consistently to foster religious inclusion and tolerance since the beginning of my incumbency in 2018.”
He also added: “This is because of my strong conviction that this is a necessary ingredient for a peaceful and cohesive society. I believe that freedom of religion, as enshrined in our Constitution, is an inalienable human right. Not only do I believe in freedom of worship… I practice it because I am comfortable worshiping in a mosque as I am worshiping in a church or synagogue.”
The Liberian Chief Executive assured the Muslim Community that he will continue to engage all persons of every religious belief and ethnic background on grounds that religion and ethnicity are not prerequisites or pre-qualifications for political affiliation in Liberia.
He acknowledged that though not the entire Mandingo Community, or all women of the Muslim Community, were at the endorsement program, he was equally gratified to have been petitioned by a particular group of women, most of whom are very strong businesspeople.
As Liberia’s Feminist-in-Chief, he said, “I am always delighted to learn of the good fortunes of empowered and successful women in community leadership. I look forward to meeting many other groups in your community.”
The President expressed appreciation to the group for the kind and spontaneous endorsement of his plans to seek re-election.
He vowed to continue to deliver transformational developments across the country, which he said will have direct and positive impacts on the social and economic growth and development of the country.
Similarly, President Weah clarified that the endorsement of his intention to run again for the presidency is not part of campaigning for elections. He maintained that the declaration of his intent only signals to the partisans of the Coalition for Democratic Change his desire to be re-elected as their Standard Bearer at the forthcoming Convention of the Party.
“Whenever this is done, we wish to assure all stakeholders that we will be in strict compliance with the regulations governing campaign activities, as issued by the National Elections Commission,” he said.
However, President Weah said he is grateful to receive the endorsement from the Forceful Women organization, its members, supporters, partners, and friends, in collaboration with the 4-B Movement.
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