When Bomi County newly elected Senator Edwin Melvin Snowe made his politically charged pronouncement as , according to him enshrined in his campaign promise to the people of Bomi, that when elected, he will work harder to ensure that Muslim’s holidays are passed into law, little did he know that his beclouded calculation rooted in his political promise contains serious problematic consequences that would not only undermine religious co-existence, but whether for example, done knowingly or unknowingly could energize the zest of opening a can of worms hinged on religious conflict and instability.
Why it is true that such political statement is not binding rather only legal statement is binding, however, when it is embedded in campaign messages and speeches, this still does not make it any better to qualify it as binding, especially where such statement will have to test every ounce of the law to guarantee its authenticity coupled with the legitimacy that will spell out all aspects of mutual acceptance, satisfying all tenets of co-existence and other genuine, meaningful and comfort of suitability in line with security and stability; political statement, whether propounded at campaign rally or someplace else, it still remains a political statement with moral consequences if it is elevated from a political statement to the character of legality wherein it is enacted into law; all sides must be carefully and logically tested by time now and years to come. One salient point here is that campaign promise, like dreams, do not always become true; some may hit the jackpot of reality or fall far too short of acceptance.
Therefore, when a candidate at a campaign trail makes a political statement, firstly, he or she should be well informed that the latter is not binding especially when borders on controversy, national security and futuristic challenges and lastly, such person must be clear with the security, safety, peace and stability of the people and state now and the future, anything that will sooner or later endanger the security, safety, peace and stability of the people and state, must not be promised to a segment of the people specifically on far-fetched issue loaded with controversial back-blast, just to win political kudos.
Now, without carefully weighing the pros and cons, and not being cognizant of the unexpected consequences sprinkling out of uncertainty and outright disturbance of a well- established understanding of encouraged accommodation, peace and stability of the very people and country, would and should not make a campaign promise that will infuriate national peace and stability as a result of divisionism based on special vested interest like what Senator Snowe has promised, and assured the people of working and lobbing much harder with his colleagues in the Senate for the enactment into law the celebration of two Muslim holidays which is now heating up with stir.
With such inflaming campaign promise to certain quarters of the Liberian society; not considering the long years of co-existence religiously, is now beginning to expose the nation to a vicious quagmire of intolerance and grim demand backed by crusading nefarious threats from some leaders of the Muslim religion predicated on, and stimulated by Sen Snowe’s campaign promise to the people of Bomi County. Despite his (Snowe’s) vague attempt to, according to him, balance the political equation by also apportioning a holiday (Easter Monday) as an appeasement for the Christians; the leadership of the Liberia Council of Churches (LCC) scolded and rejected his bill to the legislature supporting two Muslim’s holidays adding that it has no basis of legitimacy, as the Constitution does not give any religion the added advantage to acquire such inheritance, although he (Snowe) disclosed of being a Christian and only being evenhanded.
However, in his ultimatum at the close of Ramadan, the National Iman Sheik Ali Krayee .demanded that the Muslim’s holidays must be resolved, and if not, next year’s Ramadan; ‘there will be freedom for everyone or freedom for nobody’. Iman Krayee pointed out that “people are provoking revolution in the country and when you start the work we do sometimes, they want to see some kind of action.” He added that “if this nation continues to sow discord and discrimination, it will reap discrimination”.
The cleric noted that “If this holiday issue is not settle after the Senatorial elections, Liberians will be shocked to know the next action this issue will be taken. We are not talking about violence, we are not talking about breaking laws, the Muslims of this country have been mostly peaceful since Liberia’s independence in 1847.
According to pundits, the recent statement from Iman Krayee is grave and troubling for the security of the people and the state especially with militant groups roaming in and around Africa and inflicting terror and havoc in countries like Nigeria, Mali and Bokina Faso under the canopy of Jihad and being associated with Muslim, is a point to ponder which demands more clarity for security reason.
Moreover, it can be recalled that President Weah, said if the 54th National Legislature deems it necessary to enact into law a holiday for the Muslims in Liberia, he will ensure that the legislation be approved without hesitation, reported in Monrovia.
Speaking on behalf of the Liberian leader when quizzed on the Okay FM talk show on Wednesday, August 5, 2020, Presidential Press Secretary Isaac Solo Kelgbeh pointed out that President Weah in his power cannot unilaterally make such decision unless it is agreed by the National Legislature.
“The President will not hesitate to support the decision of the Legislature regarding giving a holiday to our Muslim community. If the National Legislature thinks it is necessary or agreed upon, I can assure you that President Weah will not hesitate to have it approved.
This is not about the President, but we have to respect the other branches of government,” he said.
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