EDITORIAL: Government Must Declare National Day of Mourning


WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 18, 2019 will go down in our history books as one of the saddest and dreadful days of this nation’s history. Just a reflection of the horrific scene of children lying in body bags after being killed in an unexplained inferno may leave anyone sobbing or wailing.

WE THINK THE DEATH OF THE 28 PERSONS, 26 pupils included; at an Islamic school in Paynesville is the second worst mass death that have occurred this year in the country. 

THE INCIDENT REPORTEDLY OCCURRED when the children, from the Bassa Town Quranic Recitation Center located in Paynesville, were asleep. The cause of the fire has not been established, but some community members have attributed it to electrical fault.

THE EXTENT OF THIS LOSS is only next to the gold mine mud slide that occurred in Nimba County early this year, in which we lost over 40 people.

2019 HAS INDEED TAKEN AWAY some of our beloved compatriots in some of the most tragic incidents mankind can ever forbid, and as a people we can only pray to the most high God for his mercy upon their lost souls. 

LOSING THESE FUTURE Islamic scholars that were expected to be clerics, leaders and educators is massive blow to our nation. We must find a way to reflect on short lived lives and at the same time ensure that relevant state authority rigorously investigate the incident to determine the cause of the fire.  

MEANWHILE, we are calling on the government of President George Weah, who visited the scene following the incident to express sympathy, to declare a day of national mourning. We are sure this will allow for the nation to have a sober reflection for our loss and comfort the bereave families and the Muslim community, which is obviously very shocked by this tragedy.  

WE ALSO urge the Christian community including the Liberia Council of Churches and all faith-based organizations to also express their deepest condolences by holding memorial services and other relevant events in solidarity with their Muslim counterpart. We believe this a moment, as sad and unbelievable it is, can afford us the chance to unite against the cruel hands of death, console the bereaved families and show to the world that we are a people that stand together in happiness and sadness.

WE THINK THE WOUNDS that have been sustained are not for the families of the deceased alone. It has pieced the hearts of every mother, father, sister, brother, aunties, uncles and in fact every human being. Comments, message and eulogies by Liberians home and the diaspora have been swamping social media. This shows how shattered many people are because death has struck the heart of this nation and the government must ensure we once again triumph as a people by showing resilience and unity.

WE ARE AGAIN emphasizing the need for President Weah and the government to declare a national day of mourning and hold a state memorial service for loss of our young and peaceful precious souls. This all we can do so far as we await the result of any investigation to determine the cause of the fire incident.