Liberia Council of Churches Wants Lawmakers Take Decision On State of Emergency in Ordinary Citizens' Interest

President George M. Weah (file photo).

Monrovia — The Liberia Council of Churches (LCC) through its President Rev. Kortu K. Brown, is calling on members of the 54th National Legislature to act in the interest of the ordinary Liberian citizens when making determination on the state of emergency declared by President George Manneh Weah to combat the coronavirus pandemic.

Rev. Brown is also the founder and General Overseer of the New Water in the Desert Apostolic Pentecostal Church located in Brewerville city, outside Monrovia

It can be recalled that President Weah recently declared a 21-day state of emergency and mandated the Armed Forces of Liberia to among others enforce a stay home order and the observance of social distancing in a bid to curb the spread of the killer disease.

The Liberian leader's action comes in the wake of the increase in the number of coronavirus deaths and cases in the country.

According to the National Public Health Institute of Liberia (NPHIL), about five persons have died of COVID-19 in the country, while 50 other cases remain active.

Members of the 54th National Legislature are expected to convene on Monday to make determination on the state of emergency declared by the President in keeping with Article 88 of the Constitution.

Article 88 of the 1986 Liberian constitution states that: "The President shall, immediately upon the declaration of a state of emergency, but not later than seven days thereafter, lay before the Legislature at its regular session or at a specially convened session, the facts and circumstances leading to such declaration. The Legislature shall within seventy-two hours, by joint resolution voted by two-thirds of the membership of each house, decide whether the proclamation of a state of emergency is justified or whether the measures taken thereunder are appropriate. If the two-thirds vote is not obtained, the emergency automatically shall be revoked. Where the Legislature shall deem it necessary to revoke the state of emergency or to modify the measures taken thereunder, the President shall act accordingly and immediately carry out the decisions of the Legislature".

Delivering his Easter message at his church compound on Sunday, Rev. Brown maintained that the plights of ordinary Liberian citizens, who are impoverished, must be taken into consideration by Representatives and Senators as they decide on the president's action.

"We call on the National Legislature to give consideration to the plight of ordinary Liberians as they act, this week, on the declared State of Emergency by the President of Liberia".

Plea to state security actors

The Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL), backed by other security actors, including the Liberia National Police (LNP), Liberia Immigration Service (LIS), and the National Security Agency (NSA), among others are enforcing the numerous directives from the Liberian Chief Executive under the state of emergency.

But the LCC's President cautioned security apparatus to create an enabling atmosphere between them and ordinary Liberians, "in every nook and cranny of this nation, so we can defeat the coronavirus pandemic together like we did with the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD)".

Rev. Brown, however, urged authorities of the Liberian government "to develop an inclusive and properly coordinated national plan of action that will address all the ramifications of the virus especially medical, economic, social, political and spiritual concerns".

"We call on all Liberians and people of good faith to pull together in defeating COVID-19".

Prayer for health workers, others

Rev. Brown further rendered prayers for all health workers in Liberia and the world at large.

He asked for God's grace and fortitude upon the lives of all health workers as they continue "to face this invisible enemy".

He used this medium to urge health workers to continue to remain unwavering, resilience, and have faith in God during these critical times.

"We pray for all who are hurting today and sick in the various care centers in our country and around the world that they will experience the power of resurrection today! Easter Sunday celebrates this same love that God even conquers death".

Rev. Brown continued: "The church is aware that in times of uncertainty, we need to stand together on what is certain. Jesus is alive and has conquered death, hell and the grave for all eternity. In him we have the victory of life and death. It is time we focus on Christ and the cross-and not necessarily COVID-19, because it is already defeated in the name of Jesus. We will overcome and we shall overcome".

At the same time, the renowned Liberian Clergyman has urged citizens to continue to follow the health protocols require to save them from the outbreak of the coronavirus in Liberia.

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