Ahead of the Nov. 7 Liberia’s presidential run-off, former international football star and front runner, George Opong Weah yesterday stormed the Synagogue Church of All Nations in Lagos, to seek spiritual assistance and support.
Weah faces Vice President Joseph Boakai in the final battle. He contested the election under the platform of the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC). In the results released by the country’s National Elections Commission (NEC) in the 10 October election, Weah won 39 percent while Boakai secured 29 percent. The country’s constitution demands that a candidate must score 50 percent of the total votes cast to be declared winner.
Accompanied by former war lord and one of the 20 candidates, Senator Yormie Johnson, Weah was received by Pastor T.B. Joshua who said: “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.” Rather, “My brother is here today because he loves his country and wants God’s choice for his country.”
This is the second time the ace footballer will be contesting the presidential election. He conceded defeat to outgoing President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf in the 2005 election, the first after the civil war that ended Charles Taylor’s rule. Weah who spoke briefly at the church service expressed joy at being in Nigeria and in the church.
Defend his welcome of Weah, Joshua disclosed that Boakai had also contacted him to request a meeting. “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,” Joshua said, explaining that “Without God’s corresponding power, we cannot pray to Him. For every step we take, every movement and action, intimation comes first.”
Joshua said responds to only the voice of God: “There must be suggestion from the Spirit to move before we move. If truly I am a man of God, I must hear from God move or don’t move.”
“God’s opinion is what we should seek in our country, simple! God is the Answer, the Final.”
Joshua dismissed the thinking that his decision to receive Weah may have been influenced by material pledges. “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. Meet them and let them tell you what is the way out, the next thing to do.”
Observers however believe Johnson was the contact point between Weah and Joshua. It will be recalled that Johnson was for several years in asylum in Nigeria and during the period, he was a prominent member of the Synagogue church. Besides influencing Johnson to convert to Christianity, Joshua also mediated his reconciliation with the family of the late Liberian President Samuel Doe.