As the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) marks another anniversary, two religious leaders have urged members of the force to live up to expectation.
The two leaders-Sheikh AbubakarSumaworo, Grand Mutfi of Liberia and the senior pastor of the Tubman United Methodist Church, gave the advice during separate thanksgiving services held to mark the start of this year’s celebration.
For his part, Sheikh AbubakarSumaworo, cautioned the men and women in arms not to use their guns as well as other Military Equipment against the people, animals or even trees. He said the weapons are intended to be used to protect the nation and its people.
He made these assertions when he was delivering his message during the Jumah Prayer which was held at the Gurley Street Mosque in Central Monrovia on Friday, February 6, 2015. He however indicated
According to the Islamic Cleric, the Almighty Allah forbids Military Personnel from attacking places of worship whether in the mosque or in the church during war on the battlefield, adding,” they are told to leave the worshipers alone”, he stated. “The Koran instructs that everybody must obey constituted authorities therefore you are obliged to obey your Commanders in carrying out their instructions”, he admonished them.
He then urged the soldiers not to carry out instructions which he said would bring about oppression against the people, or executing a command that he said can be equated to crime against humanity such as, gang raping a woman on the war front or even to torture a war captives, etc. When you do that, he told them that the punishment awaits that person(s).
Also speaking at the program, Sheikh KafumahKonneh, Chairman of the National Moslem Council of Liberia however disclosed that it was through the concerted efforts of all religious leaders of Liberia who he said converged during many conferences in Ghana and in other places in the interest of Liberia to deliberate on the way forward also on the restructuring of the New Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) for it to be based on political geography considering ethnic balance for professionalism.
As such, He then encouraged the authorities to always consider the plans so that the military can remain professional for it to be able to protect the state and its people at all times.
For his part, Colonel Eric Dennis, Deputy Chief of Staff, ( AFL) stated clearly that the Armed Forces of Liberia believed in religious tolerance therefore, he pointed out that it will always obey what is written in the Bible or the Koran. He promised that they will remain obedience to authorities as per their mandate.
He said as a professional body, the AFL does not tolerate segregation, saying, in union strong success is sure, he concluded.
For his part the Senior Pastor at the Tubman United Methodist Church in Paynesville has urged members of the Armed Forces of Liberia to reference God in their daily activities.
Speaking on the theme” Don’t allow Pride, Rather Allow God”, Pastor Henry Deshield told the AFL to always seek the face of the Lord almighty in order to be effective in their operations.
“If the Armed Forces of Liberia must succeed in its works, you have to always reference God and allow him be the head of your team” Pastor Deshield said.
He added that the presence of the AFL has been felt at all levels in the Liberian society and as such, they need to be appreciated for their effort in making Liberia a peaceful country.
The senior pastor of the Tubman United Methodist Church encouraged the AFL to remain focus” you have a major role to play in this society so if you must move ahead then you have to put God first when carrying out your duties”.
He urged them to respect their leaders and do away with their personal differences adding that in order to have a successful army, members of the AFL must work as a team.
Also speaking during the Armed Forces of Liberia fifty eight anniversary thanksgiving service the Minister of Defense Mr. Brownie Samukai reassured the army’s commitment to the government and people of Liberia.
Mr. Samukai said the Armed Forces of Liberia will continue to be loyal to the country adding that the safety of the citizens is a major priority.
“We want to reassure our loyalty to this country and promise to continue working in the interest of the people of Liberia in order to protect our state”.
He then called on every Liberian to join the celebration of the fifty eight anniversary of the Armed Forces of Liberia noting that they will be taking in to consideration those who lost their lives to the deadly Ebola virus.