According to a resolution read by Mr. John W. Toegbaye, chairman of the Deacon Board of the Baptist Ministries in Liberia, Dr. Manjay’s term is overdue and that contravenes the 1980 SpecialConvention that was convened in Upper Montserrado Countyfor Rev. Dr. Jeremiah Walker to replace the late President William R. Tolbert, who was the President of the Liberia Baptist Missionary and Educational Convention in Liberia.
Chairman Toegbaye stated that the 106th Annual Convention of the Liberia Baptist Missionary and Education Convention at which an election for a new president should have taken place, could not be held as planned due to the Covid-19 pandemic, which has created a global health emergency and the demand for social distancing as required to stop the transmission of the virus.
Despite this unforeseen circumstance created by the covid-19, he said Rev. Dr. Menjay and team of leadership should have stepped aside as called for by the constitution.
“The 106th Annual Convention should have provided the opportunity for Liberian Baptists to assemble and civilly elect a new core of leaders to replace the leadership of Rev. Dr. Olu J. Menjay, whose last term of eight years was expired on April 26, 2020, as stated in Article 4 Section 2 –Sub-Section 1 paragraph-4 of the Liberia Baptist Missionary and Education Convention Constitution,”averred the chairman.
The head of the Baptist Convention Deacon Boards in Liberia pointed out that in line with the constitution of the LBM &EC of the Board of Managers, which comprise of pastors, chairpersons of the Deacon Boards, fellowships and members of the Executive committee, resolved that the executive secretary of the LBM&EC continues as per his constitutional mandate until the next quarterly board of managers meeting is held where an interim leadership will be arranged pending the next convention that will elect a new leadership.
However, when contacted, Rev. Dr. Olu J. Menjay, said he had no power to suspend or postpone any church activities- be it elections or convention, rather, it was postponed indirectly by the Government of Liberia(GoL) declared State of Emergency (SOE), which was approved by the National Legislature.
It can be recalled that on April 10, 2020, President George Manneh Weah declared the SoE in a bid to curb the spread of the coronavirus. “It is the government that postponed every activity, including public gatherings such as our elections or convention,”the president of the Liberia Baptist Missionary and Educational Convention in Liberia stated.
He asserted that he does not run the institution in the media, stressing that whosoever is interested in the media should go ahead and the media should go just ahead to report. “I am busy right now. Go ahead and write anything you like,” he added.