4 September 2012

Liberia: Baptist President Asked to Resign in Two-Weeks

A report from a panel of the Council of Elders of the Liberia Baptist Missionary and Educational Convention (LBMEC) has called for the resignation, within 14 days, of the president of the Baptist Convention, Reverend Dr. Olu Menjay. Recently, the Council of Elders requested the withdrawal of the case from the Supreme Court filed by three vice regional presidents who alleged discrepancies during the 98th annual session of the Convention during which Rev. Dr. Menjay was elected.

The Supreme Court was expected to hand down its ruling into the complaint when the LBMEC Council sought an in-house settlement which was endorsed by Justice in Chambers Kabineh Ja'neh.

Following months of investigations, discussions and research, the Council of Elders of the LBMEC requested the President-elect, Rev. Dr. Menjay to resign within two weeks and that all instruments signed by him be regarded "null and void".

The Council of Elders resolution stated that, "The legitimacy of Rev. Dr. Olu Q. Menjay was very complex, sensitive and sinister; Dr. Menjay legitimacy is characterized by many moral and psychological implications and innuendoes."

The resolution also states that all records pertaining to the current conflict be made null and void, and that Rev. Dr. Menjay be allowed to contest a new election.

"That Rev. Dr. Menjay, by virtue of the magnitude and gravity of the contention of constitutional breach surrounding his election as President of LBMEC, and the ambiguity and speculation regarding the authenticity of his actual birth has exposed the LBMEC and Baptists, far and wide to shame and scandal," the elders' resolution stated.

The Council of Elders stressed that their request to have Rev. Dr. Menjay resign will set a precedent for future constitutional breach.

According to the resolution of August 23, 2012, an interim oversight committee will be constituted until elections are held either mid-October 2012 or at the next annual session, in March 2013.

The Council of Elders presumed that while Rev. Dr. Menjay is expected to honor the resignation request, the functions and activities of national board, departments, agencies and committees will be transferred to an interim committee as prescribed in the LBMEC constitution.

According to the Council of Elders, the interim committee will comprise a former LBMEC President, moderator or a senior member of Providence Baptist Association, the President or a senior member of the Baptist Women Missionary Union.

The committee will also comprise the President of the Men's missionary union, the president or senior member of the Youth missionary union, the president or senior member of the Sunday school missionary union and elders of the LBMEC.

The interim committee will organize a search and nominating committee for nomination of officers of the Baptist Convention in accordance with the constitution of LBMEC.

Some members of the Council of Elders of the LBMEC are Rev. Dr. Jeremiah W. Walker, Rev. Dr. Walter Richards and Rev. Dr. A. Moses Roulhac, all of whom served the Baptist Convention as former presidents.

When The NEWS contacted Rev. Dr. Menjay via mobile phone, he promised to respond later, but he did not do so until press time.

A main contention in the dispute was that Rev. Dr. Menjay allegedly falsified his age during the election in order to meet the age requirement for the Baptist Convention Presidency.

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