At Constitutional Review Conference, Muslims Protest Against Christianizing Liberia, Threatens War If….

Dozens of Muslims in central Liberia at the start of a two days Constitutional Review to conference to scrutinize suggestions put forth by Liberians regarding the amendment of the Liberian Constitution have threatened to star what they called ‘A war’ if Liberia will be Christianized.

In their protest just minute before the start  of the conference in Gbarnga, Bong County, the Muslims chanting their Islamic slogans in front of the conference hall, challenged the Constitutional Review Commission, organizer of the conference not allow the issue of making Liberia a Christian nation to be prevailed in its deliberation.

The spokesman of the group, Aliu Swarray, said it was unfair for Muslims to be downplayed during these discussions, “It this is done as radicals we will start a war”, Mr. Swarray told reporters live.

Over 52.000 suggestions, including the reduction of tenures of elected officials including the presidency, members of the legislature, the Judiciary, amongst other suggestions were     collected by the Constitutional Review Commission (CRC) from Liberians throughout the country are now being deliberated at the conference.

According to preliminary summary of views expressed by citizens during consultations and sectorial meetings held in 73 Liberian electoral districts as well as with Diaspora Liberians from 2013/14, Liberians want the tenure of the Presidency to be reduced from six to four years; tenure of senior senators should reduce from nine to six years, while tenure for junior senators be reduced from six to fours and tenure of representatives reduced from six years to four years, respectively

This latest threat being put forward by a group of Muslims is scaring as many Liberians who spoke on a local radio station this condemned the call, describing the call by those Muslims as dangerous to the people of Liberia who have suffered over the years as a result of years of civil war.   

The CRC for this conference invited stakeholders and partners, including more than 700 delegates for this important conference, with President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf serving as keynote speaker at the formal opening ceremony.     

Liberians are at a very critical stage in making sweeping changes in the country’s Constitution, which are expected to affect tenure of service for the Presidency, senate and the House of Representatives as well as local chiefs.

The CRC said Liberians want tenure of elected officials to be reduced and that local government officials, including county superintendents, mayors, commissioners, clan and chiefs should be elected rather than appointed by the President.

Speaking at a news conference recently, CRC Chairperson, Cllr. Gloria Musu Scott, said the Committee with support from Government and development partners gathered that Liberians are opposed to dual citizenship and same sex marriage.

“During our one year collection of statements from Liberians, they rejected the issues of same sex marriage, dual citizenship, and selling on Sundays. They told the Committee that selling Sundays should be totally banned,” said Cllr. Scott, who served as Chief Justice in the Taylor administration.

She told the news conference that a huge portion of Liberians under the banner, Christians for the reclaiming of Liberia for Jesus, have presented over one Million signatures of Liberians, calling for the declaration  of a Christian State.

The CRC Chairperson said views or suggestions expressed by Liberians will be presented to the nation today in Gbarnga, Bong County to be debated by stakeholders, development partners, civil society organizations, youths and women groups and subsequently compiled into bill for onward submission to the Liberian Legislature after which a national referendum will be conducted to make those changes.

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