Abuja’s Diplomatic Community, Others Condole with Liberia; Embassy Opens Book of Condolence

A flashback picture of some of the students and their teachers who died in Wednesday’s fire disaster

Abuja – The Liberian Embassy in Abuja has been receiving dozens of condolence messages in the aftermath of the tragic September 18 fire incident that claimed the lives of nearly 30 Liberian students including a teacher at the Islamic Daawa School in Paynesville, Liberia.

A release from the Liberian Embassy in Abuja says 27 Liberians, 26 of them schoolchildren, got killed in the fire believed to have broken out in the early hours of the morning of Wednesday, September 18, 2019 while they were sleeping in a building near their mosque outside the Liberian Capital, Monrovia.

Their remains had since been buried on the same Wednesday after a short funeral rite attended by His Excellency President George Manneh Weah, president of Liberia.

Members of the Diplomatic and Consular Corps in Abuja, including ambassadors, high commissioners and heads of diplomatic missions, as well as other prominent Nigerians and organizations have been condoling with the Government and people of Liberia, particularly the parents, guardians and family members of the deceased, the release continues.

Up to press time, the Embassy had received 35 condolences messages and counting, 23 coming from other foreign diplomatic missions.

According to the release, the senior diplomats and other Nigerians expressed grief and their deepest condolences to the government and people of Liberia. Many described it as a ‘national tragedy’, while “praying for the Almighty God/Allah’s comfort for the affected families and rest the souls of the deceased at eternal peace”. 

The Liberian Community, through its umbrella organization, the Organization of Liberian Communities in Nigeria (OLICON), in its condolence message referred to the school children as “our little angels”.

Chief Cliff Nzeruem, Liberia’s former Honorary Consul to Nigeria, said in his condolence message: “What a pity that this happened in a school”.  

Mrs. Uche Chuta, Lead Coordinator, African Children Emergency Foundation (ACEF), remarked: “While praying for the repose of the children’s souls, we urge responsible authorities to protect the lives of children from such preventable hazards.” 

Earlier, Ambassador Al-Hassan Conteh extended his deepest, heartfelt condolences to President Weah, the people of Liberia, and in particular, the Imam and families of the deceased students, adds the release.

Meanwhile, the Embassy has disclosed that it will open a Book of Condolence at its Chancery on Wednesday, September 25, 2019 from 11am to 4pm Nigerian time for government officials, members of the diplomatic and consular corps, heads of international organizations and the Liberian Community, the release concludes.