By E. Geedahgar Garsuah
MONROVIA: With just two weeks to the conduct of the crucial October 10, 2023 Presidential and Legislative elections, the Resident Pastor of the Trinity Healing Temple Church situated in Matilda Estate, Monrovia, Rev./Dr. Sylvester T. Toe, Sr., has cautioned voters to exercise consciousness and patriotism by snubbing at the October 10, 2023 polls candidates with questionable characters.
Delivering his regular Sermon on Sunday, Pastor Toe cautioned Liberian voters to be mindful of reelecting people who, he said, misused previous opportunity accorded them to work in Liberia’s best interest.
Preaching under the theme: “Shine Your Eyes,” taken from the Bible books of Proverb 29:2 and Psalm 55:21, the Clergyman did not mince his words when he also chided public officials both past and present who underperformed in the service of the country.
He urged voters to reject those politicians who performed dismally but are still seeking reelection at the detriment of the vast majority of the citizens.
Dr. Toe: “How can you ask for a first, second or third term to the Senate when there are war crimes and economic crimes upon your heads?
“How can you ask for first, second, or third term in the House of Representatives when your district is crying for common incentives for development?”
The Prelate cautioned voters to be very mindful so as not to fall prey to what he calls “sweet talks of politicians” which, according to him, are “based on lies and deceptions in their desperate desire for state power.”
Pastor Toe told the congregation that during campaign eras, seekers of state power come with concocted rhetoric.
Dr. Toe: “This is how the Psalmist describes them during election campaigns: His words are as smooth as butter, yet war is in his heart; his words are more soothing than oil, yet they are drawn to the swords. What that text is saying is that the speeches that most of them come with are nothing but flatteries, sweet talks. In Liberia, we say, talking that free. Some call themselves “talk-and-do.”
The man of God added: “They are mostly deceitful, they are mostly liars. Their real intentions are greed, dishonesty, bribery, and the desire to prevent justice. Such leaders are a burden to the nation. They must be rejected by the people whether they are vying for a first term, second term, or a third term. They must be rejected whether they are vying for the Presidency, or to be a Senator, or a Representative.”
“Not only must they be denied your votes, they must be prosecuted through war and economic crimes court,” he stressed
He further told the Church Congregation: “Remember, when the righteous rule, the nation prospers, but when the wicked rules, the people mourn. Like the people of Israel who rejected the sons of Samuel for dishonesty, bribery, and failure to dispense justice, shine your eyes and vote and vote for competent and good leaders.”
The Prelate also urged voters to punish those who are unfit by their deeds over the years for elective positions by rejecting them on October 10 as the first step of deterrence to others who are harboring similar ambition for elective public offices in the country.
According to Rev. Toe, “Corrupt leaders must be punished and prosecuted. One way to punish them is to deny them your vote, reject them in the face of their flowery speeches. Those that are found and charged for corrupt practices against the state must face the economic crimes court, not the ballot box. Those that are found and charged with war crimes must face a war crimes court and not the ballot box.
Those that pervert justice are automatically visible accomplices to the crimes of the perpetrators. Whether they are Presidents, Senators, Representatives, or even incoming ones, they must be rejected at the ballot box.
The vocal prelate also highlighted the culture of impunity that appears to be a normal state of affair as one of the primary reasons why Liberia, the oldest country on the African Continent, is lagging behind its counterparts in terms of development.
According to Pastor Toe, “The culture of impunity is one of the vices that are destroying our country. Rather than prosecute a person for crimes he/she is suspected to have committed, people are honored with more influential and lucrative public positions. It is an error! That’s why I am one of the advocates for war crimes court and economic crimes court. We cannot deliberately choose a leader that will bring suffering upon us and then we turn to God to cry for help. If we want help from God, now is the time’.
The man of God also decried the increasing waves in the importation of illicit drugs and other harmful substances on the Liberian market, which according to him, is gradually decimating the country’s youthful population.
He then rallied the collaboration of Liberia’s religious community to speak truth to power by publicly highlighting the acts of massive corruption, disregard for the rule of law.
‘We must speak truth to power by asking the hard questions to people vying for our public offices. How can you ask for a first term of the Presidency, when you are marred and known for corruption, injustice, wickedness, and other mal-practices? You aligned yourself with a running mate marked by allegations of war crimes or economic crimes? Your past tract records in past governments are clearly odd? All your children and properties are abroad in western countries? You cannot even form a single alliance or coalition as an opposition by sacrificial willingness to go second. Everyone wants to be first. Not only should we ask people who are asking for first terms, we should also ask people who are asking for a second and their term,” he declared.