- Last Updated on 19.07.2018
The General Overseer of the Restoration Baptist Ministries, Rev. Joseph Gardea Johnson, III says “most of the major players involved in the fight against corruption are dishonest individuals” whose presence at the helm of the battle will yield no result.
The tough-talking preacher made the statement Sunday, June 24, 2018 when a four-man delegation from the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC) headed by Rev. James K. Kingsley visited the Restoration Baptist Ministries in Congo Town to launch the anti graft institution’s “anti-corruption month” with a fervent call for religious institution across Liberia to join hands with the LACC in helping to fight corruption- a menace that is bringing the country to its lowest ebb and ruining every prospect of development.
According to Rev. Johnson, if the LACC and the Government are to succeed in the fight against corruption, the present head of the LACC must resign and be investigated for corruption.
He indicated “it has reached our knowledge, that which is an open secret, the head of the LACC is accused by his fellow commissioners for stealing and misappropriation. We believe if the head of the fight against corruption is accused of stealing, it is very serious and must be investigated and that needs to be done now. Our nation can’t be fighting corruption with an alleged corrupt head leading the fight. We think that this is one of the many reasons the LACC is refusing to take corrupt cases to court because they don’t have the moral ground to do so even though the laws permit them to do so.”
The clergyman encouraged the LACC to ensure that all public officials declare their assets because it will go a long way in the fight against corruption adding “public officials in the Restoration Baptist Ministries – RBM congregation are ready to declare their assets and we promised that the church will ensure that they do so.” Liberia's first female Vice President, Chief Dr. Jewel Cianeh Howard-Taylor is a member of the Restoration Baptist Ministries. She declared her assets more than once as Senator of Bong County.
Rev. Johnson emphasized that the RBM church understands that assets declaration is not an optional thing in the fight against corruption but a matter of must.”
“The LACC should work with the National Elections Commission (NEC) to ensure that individuals who are being investigated for corruption or linked with a corruption scandal must be investigated and proven not guilty before participating in any electoral process; those guilty of corruption should not participate in any electoral process. Criminals and alleged criminals names or images must not be printed on any bullet paper! No one succeeds in the fight against corruption with corrupt people,” he recommended to the anti-graft body.
As a member of the Committee set up by President George Weah to look into the Global Witness corruption report against some former officials of government, the preacher man reminded President Weah to implement recommendations from the Special Presidential Committee on the Global Witness report to set the basis for accountability and the fight against corruption. “We at RBM promised where it is possible, the church will help,” Rev. Johnson averred.
Speaking earlier, the head of the LACC delegation, Rev. James Kingsley told the congregation that the LACC is willing at all times to work with religious leaders and institutions to fight corruption because the institution sees religious institutions and leaders as great and powerful partners in the fight against the scourge.
He stated that the Restoration Baptist Ministries was among three (3) churches visited on Sunday to create awareness about the holistic fight against corruption and launch the anti-corruption month. The other churches, according to him, were the St. Peter Lutheran Church on 14th Street in Sinkor and the Providence Baptist Church on Broad and Ashmun Streets in Central Monrovia.
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