Liberia: House Summons JFK Memorial Hospital’s Management for ‘Grossly’ Leaking Fallen Colleague’s Photograph

Rep. Thomas Goshua: “I like to use this medium to bring to your attention that the photograph of our colleague while admitted at JFK Memorial Hospital is currently grossly being displayed on social media with denigrating comments from all viewers.”

Capitol Hill, Monrovia – Plenary of the House of Representatives has summoned the administration of the John F. Kennedy (JFK) Memorial Hospital for allegedly leaking photographs of the late Representative Jay Nagbe Sloh while he was admitted at the hospital.

Rep. Sloh of Sinoe County District #2 died on Tuesday, June 30, 2020 at the JFK Memorial Medical Center following a brief illness.

Plenary’s decision was made in its 37th day sitting on Thursday, July 2 based on a motion filed by Rep. Clarence Massaquoi of (District #3, Lofa County) citing the hospital’s authorities to appear before the leadership of the House on Monday, July 6, 2020.

The motion was derived from a communication by Rep. Thomas Goshua (District #5, Grand Bassa County), craving the House’s indulgence to invite JFK’s management to explain how their fallen colleague’s photo leaked on social media.

Rep. Goshua also called on the management to explain its privacy protocols put in place at the hospital.

“I like to use this medium to bring to your attention that the photograph of our colleague while admitted at JFK Memorial Hospital is currently grossly being displayed on social media with denigrating comments from all viewers,” he wrote.

“This is happening as we speak without any regard to his family and this august body. What’s more of concern is how this picture got into the public glare when there supposed to be a privacy for patients at John F. Kennedy Memorial Hospital.”

Speaking on the floor, he said the action was not only unprofessional and shameful, it has the proclivity to scare away officials from seeking treatment at the hospital.

Earlier on Thursday, the Plenary led by Speaker Bhofal Chambers held a minute silence in memory of their fallen colleague, and following session drove to the deceased’s residence to sympathize with the bereaved family.

“In our midst we have a void that is noticeable. Our colleague has departed. May God Almighty make him to walk on Mountains and that he has a restful stay in the bosom of Abraham,” remarked Speaker Chambers before leading Plenary into a minute silence.”

The late Representative Sloh was elected during the 2017 general and presidential election. Prior to his election, he has been a longtime journalist who previously served as the Director-General of the Liberian News Agency (LINA).

At the House of Representatives, he served as Chairman of the Committee on Information, Cultural affairs and Tourism and was also a member of the Independent Legislative Caucus (ILC). 

President George Weah on Wednesday, July 1 joined an array of government officials in paying homage to the fallen Sinoe County District #2 Representative.

In a statement released by the Executive Mansion, President Weah is quoted as saying that Sloh was an ‘astute statesman’ and proponent of media freedom -a vision shared by the president.

Writing on her official Facebook page, Rep. Rustonlyn Suacoco Dennis (District #4, Montserrado County) said her fallen ILC member was an ‘astute and vocal intellectual’ whose memories will live on forever.

Bong County District #6 Representative, Moima Briggs Mensah said her fallen colleague has left “memories of positivities and a pain that only time can heal.”

The House Committee Chair on Peace, Religion and National Reconciliation, Rep. Dorwohn Twain Gleekia (District #6, Nimba County), speaking to FrontPage Africa said the fallen lawmaker was a role model who will be remembered for his counsel to younger legislators.

“He was someone I considered as a father and a role model. Outside of the Legislature, he would give us advice and what it takes to be a great man,” Rep. Gleekia recounted.

Also speaking to FPA, Rep. Matthew Fair Play Joe of Grand Bassa County District #3 said, “He was one of the critical lawmakers who could really argue on the floor. He spoke his mind and took on the Speaker when he felt the Speaker was not doing the right things.

“He will also be remembered in the 54th Legislature as one of the jovial lawmakers. He made people laugh and it was fun to have him around.”

For his part, the Director of Press at the House of Representatives, Isaac G. Redd stated that Sloh was “bold and nationalistic,” and called on lawmakers and other politicians to follow his footsteps.”

“He was somebody who was bold. He didn’t look at political interest. He looked at situation from a nationalistic point and was not a party centered person,” Redd eulogized.

“People should not be sycophantic. They should be expressive and say things without fear and favor or political reward. People should look at the country above their individual interest.”