Liberia: Grand Bassa Residents, Liberty Party Clash over Remains of Cllr. Brumskine

Residents of the County waited for hours at the Fair Ground for the arrival of Cllr. Brumskine’s remains, but the Liberty Party refused to make a brief stop at the Fair Ground where his supporters had waited for hours to pay the last homage

Buchanan, Grand  Bassa – Three members of the Grand Bassa Legislative Caucus have expressed disappointment in the Liberty Party for “disrespecting the people of Grand Bassa” after the party failed to allow the body of its fallen standard-bearer, Charles walker Brumskine to lie in state at the county’s pavilion.

Representatives Matthew Joe, Vicent Willie and Thomas Alexander Goshua and officials of county administration were seen expressing their disenchantment publically on Saturday, December 14 in Buchanan when the remains of the late renowned politician and lawyer was taken to the county for internment 

Rep. Willie, who represents Electoral District #4 at the Legislature, said that the action of the Party to have denied people of the county access to the coffin of the late party’s standard-bearer was disrespectful.

“That unserious party kept our citizens and at the Pavilion for more than five hours on grounds that the body of the late Cllr. Brumskine would have spent two hours in the county before going to the cemetery,” he said angrily.

“The people delayed with the body until 4 pm and later announced that the body will no longer go to the pavilion, were the citizens were gathered but they were going straight to the burial site.

“We as lawmakers and county administration tried to intervene but the Liberty Party ordered the flogging of our citizens who said that they couldn’t allow the body to go straightly to the burial site without reaching to the citizens.”

According to him, members of the party “forcibly ran through our citizens with the body and took the body for burial.”

Willie and other lawmakers then refused to show up at the gravesite located Upper Buchanan, which is within the proximity of the fallen statesman home.

Rep. Willie: “That unserious party kept our citizens and at the Pavilion for more than five hours on grounds that the body of the late Cllr. Brumskine would have spent two hours in the county before going to the cemetery.”

“It is the first time in the history of our county for a kinsman body to leave Monrovia and go straightly to the grave without passing to the Unification Pavilion,” he ranted while terming “Liberty Party as a very unserious” political group.

“They disgraced themselves and not our citizens because the people did well for the late Cllr. Brumskine throughout until he died – from the day Cllr. Brumskine joined the presidential race, he always won Bassa.”

Also, Matthew Joe, Electoral District #3 (Buchanan City district) lawmaker, alleged that current Liberty Party Political leader Nyonblee Kangar-Lawrence harbored a plan “to disgrace the citizens of Bassa”.

“The party political leader, who is a senator of this county, was the cause of the maltreatment of the lawmakers and the Citizens,” Representative Joe claimed.

“We are disappointed because we were denied access to the body, besides, our citizens were treated like slaves. 

“Those people had announcement on the radio for weeks informing the people that they should gather at the fairground but the citizens sat there all day for nothing.”

Elder Cheo Johnson, a senior elder of the county, added: “The way the body was carried for burial didn’t go down well with us the elders and even the citizens.”

“I want to let every citizen know that it is over, maybe that’s how the Late Cllr. Brumskine wanted to go home. Let’s put what happened behind us and move on with the development of our county.”

The situation prompted the county representatives and the local government officials to boycott the burial, FrontPage Africa reporter in the county said.

Lawmakers Willie, Joe and Thomas Alexander Goshua of electoral District Five, were seen ranting on the grounds of the Unification Pavilion on the Fairgrounds.

The County Assistant Superintendent for Fiscal Affairs, the Assistant Superintendent for Development, County Inspector as well as other local leaders also stayed away.

Before the remains of the renowned statesman and legal luminary was moved to his home town of Buchanan, a week of funeral activities saw the body lying in state at the rotunda of the Capitol – home of the Legislature – and a state funeral at the Bethel Cathedral of Hope in Sinkor. 

The five-hour-long funeral service was attended by President George Weah and his cabinet, the Legislature, and Judiciary. Foreign diplomats including US Ambassador Christine Elder and officials of the Swedish Embassy, among others, were in attendance.

The Government, through the Chief of Protocol, Javis Witherspoon said the fallen statesman was an erudite lawyer who will be missed by not only his family and the people of Grand Bassa County but the entire nation.

Former Vice President Joseph Boakai, on behalf of the Collaborating Political (CPP) Parties (CPP), called former LP political leader a “conscious voice of the CPP and a tough competitor”.

LP Political leader Karngar-Lawrence described the fallen Liberian as not only a mentor but father and vision bearer of the party.

She vowed that with the effort of the LP leadership and partisans, she will carry on the legacy of the party’s late founding father.

The highlight of the service came when Cllr. Brumskine’s children and wife eulogized him as “a great friend and the source of their successes”. 

His eldest daughter, Charlene Brumskine, said her father left an “unblemished legacy and loved Liberia just as he loved his family”.

She said, the late Cllr. Brumskine was nostalgic of the Liberia of old and literally sacrificed so much for his country, if he had the opportunity to do it again, he would have done it again. 

“He told us that Liberia will rise again. He told us that we will build Liberia and restore the system,” she said, adding that what set her dad apart from others was his ability to easily overcome setbacks and take them as opportunities.

Her dad, she said, preferred to be in the company of the conscious minority than the majority filled with “abundant mediocrity.”