MONROVIA – Several Liberians, using social media, have reacted to President George Weah’s donation of just a vehicle to some 3,500 pastors, who campaigned for him during Liberia’s presidential election in 2017.
Recently, the political leader of the governing Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC), President George Weah, donated a pickup truck to about 3,500 pastors, who campaigned for his 2017 presidential bid.
In 2017, a group known as the National Wings of Success Pastoral Network, comprising political clergymen and women, heavily backed Weah’s presidential ambition, when the retired soccer star ran for president in an election he secured a runoff victory over ex-Vice President Joe Boakai. Weah and his CDC accumulated over 60% of votes; having garnered 38.4% of votes in the first round.
At a turnover ceremony which took place at the Old Plank Field Community, located in the former commercial district of Red Light, Paynesville City, one of President Weah’s confidants, the Managing Director of the lucrative National Port Authority (NPA), Dr. Bill Twehway, said the vehicle was the CDC political leader’s way of dignifying the National Wings of Success Pastoral Network, indicating that the Liberian leader loves, as well as, is happy and satisfied with the pastors, who campaigned for him in 2017.
Twehway, who initially said the presidential gift to the pastoral group was not intended to be used to preach politics but to preach the good news that Jesus is alive, ironically would later indicate that it is anticipated of the pastors to recruit other pastors for the purpose of augmenting the Network’s membership from 3,500 to 10,000 or 20, 000, so that when Liberians go to the polls in 2023, for the presidential election, Weah and the CDC would win.
“He loves you, he’s happy with you, he’s satisfied with you. He knows that with you behind him; your prayer and your mobilization power, 2023 is a no go zone – we will definitely win, nobody can put foot,” Twehway emphasized.
I learned that your membership has grown to 3,500. I want you carry it to at least 10,000 or 20,000 – we’ve got more pastors here…” Twehway insisted, adding that he wants more pastors to become a part of National Wings of Success Pastoral Network – “the more we will become, the better it will be,” he stressed.
“On behalf of the President of the Republic of Liberia, the man that you endorsed somewhere in 2017, the man you campaigned for him to become president, he told me for you to be dignified, and for you to not be riding motorbike,” Twehway told the pastoral organization.
It took over four years, for the pastors, who prayed and canvassed in 2017 for Weah to have become president, to be rewarded with a single Mitsubishi four-door pickup truck, but Twehway expressed the hope that the car gift would not be the last of its kind form the Liberian chief executive to the politically charged pastors, saying, “We prayed that this will not be the last, some better things will happen.”
“So, President George Weah says I should tell you, we thank you…” Twehway intimated, narrating that before car the gift to the pastors, President Weah scolded him that why after four years of him being in power, the pastors are yet to have at least a vehicle; a rebuke he said touched him, vowing that the pastors would look better than what they are now.
Twehway told the pastors the vehicle is intended to provide them with mobility while they pray for President Weah, and at the same time preach the good news that indeed, their votes in 2017, were not in vain.
On behalf of President Weah, Twehway inferred that the current regime is grateful to the pastors, saying, “You voted for us, and we are trying our best. We are trying to develop the country – you can see it to the Port, you can see it all over the country, we are developing the country.”
Sounding like a preacher man, the Port Manager, Twehway, then handed the key to the vehicle to the leader of the pastoral group, Bishop Sylvester G. Wallace, saying, “So, on behalf of him (President Weah), I hand over the car key to you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the blessed Holy Spirit.”
In response, the leader of the pastoral network, Bishop Wallace, said his group accepts President Weah’s gift with pure heart, promising that the National Wings of Success Pastoral Network will do the necessary thing to go out to preach the good news, as laid out by Twehway, stating that “those who have ears, will hear, and those who have eyes, will see.”
On behalf of the Network’s National Executive Committee and its 15-County coordinators and 73 electoral districts coordinators, Bishop Wallace thanked President Weah for the gift.
Howbeit, since the news broke, many Liberians have been reacting to the donation from their President to the 3,500 pastors, with many of those reacting doing so with very unkind words for the Liberian leader on one hand, and the pastors on the other.
In reaction to the donation, Soufiana Menjor Yombouno wrote of Facebook, beginning with a question, indicating, “One Pickup for how many Pastors?”
Yombouno termed the donation as a joke, adding, “Even they [pastors] divide it in pieces, it won’t still help…”
Yombouno then suggested, “The Pickup money could help many of them get back to Theology Schools to know the real Teaching of the Bible than to be Sycophantic & Belly-driven…”
Roosevelt Weah wrote: “Must pastors also join the crumbs gatherers? One pickup for how many pastors?”
For Agreement Tarpeh, it remains a mystery how the 3,500 pastors would equitably utilize the single vehicle – “How are they going to ride it?” Tarpeh quipped, emphasizing that the donation was a slap in the faces of the thousands of members of the clergy, and referring to the one who made such donation, as being heartless – “It’s a slap in their faces -heartless president.”
Titus Vampelt, for his part, had these words of advice for the pastors, indicating, “I think those calling themselves pastor or bishop need to stop preaching politics in and around the house of God [and] go out there and preach the gospel to the needy and win more souls for Christ instead of man.”
The donation, for Florence Efua Aikins, was only a matter of laughter, as she wrote: “Haha.”