23 October 2017

Liberia: PYJ, Weah Seeking the 'Face of God' in Nigeria

Photo: Premium Times
Football legend George Weah and The Synagogue Church Of All Nations, SCOAN, led by T.B. Joshua.

The relationship between the two men has not been exactly rosy in the recent past, but as images of Senator Prince Y. Johnson, leader of the Movement for Democracy and Reconstruction (MDR) and Senator George M. Weah of the Coalition for Democratic Change at church together in Nigeria with Pastor T. B. Joshua went viral on Sunday afternoon, the debate as to whether or not Weah had won Johnson's endorsement reached a new level.

From the photos, which first appeared on T. B. Joshua's Facebook page, it appears to be a rather positive vibe between the two Liberian senators, who also happen to the two people representing Africa's oldest republic at the ECOWAS Parliament. At the ECOWAS parliament, Weah is head of the Liberian delegation. But nearly every trip the two have made to Nigeria for the regional parliamentary meetings, there are usually negative sparks, in a most recent case, with Weah and delegation reportedly abandoning Sen. Johnson at the airport in Lagos due to certain delays.

The heat between the two Liberian senators turned in a new dimension when, just a few weeks ago, both were vying for the nation's highest seat. At one point, as part of a larger collaborative -- the Ganta Declaration, they called it -- PYJ and Weah, along with all the other opposition party leaders, pledged a joint effort to unseat the ruling Unity Party.

In spite of what transpired in Ganta with fellow opposition colleagues, there were frequent verbal attacks from PYJ toward Weah, some for cause and others, calculated calls for caution toward those in support of Weah. One of his latest remarks against Weah was that the election of "Weah as President of Liberia, could lead to war."

Has anything changed?

With PYJ currently out of the presidential race but still in the game because of his tremendous influence in the vote-rich Nimba County, he is being wooed by his favorite fight-mate, George Weah, to deliver an endorsement that could sway the county's electorate in Weah's favor.

Weah is due to face-off with UP candidate Joseph N. Boakai in the run-off election scheduled for November 7. Of the 20 presidential candidates in the first round, the two emerged with the most votes, but significantly shy of the coveted 50% plus one vote as required by the Constitution; hence the run-off. And Senator Johnson is basking in the spotlight as potential king maker between the two finalists.

But for such a monumental move, PYJ is seeking guidance from his spiritual Father", Pastor Joshua, the man who converted him to Christianity following his exit from the Liberian civil war.

So it was, both Weah and Johnson surfaced in Lagos, Nigeria together on Sunday, October 22, attending Pastor T.B. Joshua's Synagogue Church of All Nations (SCOAN), where the pastor offered prayers for Johnson and Weah.

According to Ihechukwu Njoku, a freelance Nigerian journalist, Weah had gone to SCOAN to "seek God's face" for Liberia. With power so close yet so far away, Weah apparently has not forgotten the near misses of his first and second attempts at the presidency (2005 and 2011) and has realized that seeking God, even if He is in Lagos, Nigeria, is a far better venture than relying solely on the promises of his hundreds of thousands of constituents who showed their willingness to give him their votes during the first round.

Pastor T. B. Joshua, the Nigerian televangelist and philanthropist, is noted for receiving African politicians, among them Tanzania's President John Magufuli, the late President of Ghana John Atta Mills, Zimbabwean Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and Julius Malema of South Africa.

He reportedly told the huge gathering at the Church, where Weah and Johnson were in attendance yesterday: "My brother (Weah) is here today because he loves his country and wants God's choice for his country."

He added, "He is not here to impose himself. What does God say about his country, Liberia? What is God's opinion? That is why he is here."

Pastor Joshua continued: "We are not herbalists or witch-doctors; we are people of God. God's choice is our choice. We cannot pray against God's will." Though we are yet to know Joshua's predictions of the Liberian political scenarios since 2005, since with the overwhelming impressive performance of Senator Weah and the October 10 elections, it possible to conclude that no one needs a prophet or soothsayer to determine where victory may likely fall. The report from Nigeria said Weah nodded firmly in agreement at Pastor Joshua's statement.

CDC standard bearer George Weah greets Pastor T. B. Joshua in Nigeria (Photo: T.B. Joshua's official Facebook Page)

The Nigerian megastar man of God said, "Without God's corresponding power, we cannot pray to Him. For every step we take - every movement and action - intimation comes first.

"God's opinion is what we should seek in our country - simple! God is the answer, the final.

"You cannot twist or bribe God; He is not a man... The best place to go is to meet people God has given the grace to be a communicator between visible and invisible," he said, making ever effort to avoid declaring prophecy in favor of either Weah or Boakai.

It was the same Pastor Joshua who, during the United States Presidential elections, said the following: "Ten days ago, I saw the new President of America with a narrow win. The new President will be facing several challenges over many issues, including: passing bills, attempts to possibly pass a vote of no confidence on the new President. The boat of the new President will be rocked. By the way, in order not to keep you in suspense, what I frankly saw is a woman."

That prophesy appeared untrue, because he "frankly saw... a woman" as president of the United States, but it turned out to be a man, Donald Trump. And while that in itself creates a perception of 'failure' about the controversial prophet, many millions place their trust him.

"It is interesting that some well-known pastors and prophets only tend to shift to what many partisans of the CDC are are saying to be their expectation," said a Unity Party partisan, who was contacted for the article.

Though Pastor Joshua has not predicted the result of the run-off elections as he did with the American elections, the overwhelming and impressive lead by Weah and the chance of the Ganta coalition's support gives the situation an interesting slant.

Yet, even PYJ has not come out to publicly announce which way he would lean.

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