Liberia: Remains of Former Public Works Minister, Mobutu Nyenpan Brought Back to Liberia


MONROVIA – The remains of fallen Public Works Minister Mobutu Vlah-Nyepan was on Thursday evening returned to Liberia. He died in Accra, Ghana nearly two months after suffering a massive stroke.

On Kenyan Airways, the casket bearing his remains was received by President George Weah, and Vice President Jewel Howard Taylor along with several officials of government and family members and supporters of the ruling CDC.

Dressed all in black, most of his relatives, supporters and kinsmen and women trekked to the Roberts International Airport (RIA) to pay their last respect to their son, brother, father, and official of government.

Per tradition, a priest had to perform the biblical ritual at the stairs of the plane after which the coffin was taken to the President and brought out through the Cargo section of the Roberts International Airport. It was later deposited at the St. Moses funeral home.

The death news of the late Minister has been met with mixed reaction from the public and family members who expressed suspicion about the mystery surrounding his death. In one story, it is being said that he suffered stroke after being pressured by some senior officials of government to act against his will, while it is reported in another scenario it’s being reported that he was poisoned. Whatever way the story is, the family of the Late Vlah-Nyepan is not happy and it is only a matter of time before they tell the public how exactly they feel.

The Ministry of Public Works on Wednesday called on the public honor their former boss and expressed disappointment in rumors surrounding his death.

The Minister who was flown to Ghana for further treatment had been listed critical was the last 48 hours of his life and was on life support.

“Mobutu was a good and lively man; he will be missed very well by all who knew him. We ask everyone to give him the respect as a former statesman,” Thomas Fallah, a sympathizer who went to the RIA to receive his remains told FrontPageAfrica.

The minister fell off on September 3 shortly after a meeting with senior administration officials at his office. Minister Nyenpan went into coma before doctors at the John F. Kennedy Medical Center managed to stabilize him after which he was flown to neighboring Ghana for further treatment. 

Minister Nyenpan had been undergoing intense treatment at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital in Accra, Ghana over the past two months.

Ruptured brain aneurysms are fatal in about 50% of cases. Of those who survive, about 665 suffer some permanent neurological deficit. Approximately 15% of people with a ruptured aneurysm die before reaching the hospital.

Following his stroke, doctors at the John F. Kennedy Medical Center performed multiple procedures and surgery to reduce blood in the minister’s brain. After managing to drain the blood to a safe level and stabilize him, President George Manne Weah instructed Finance Minister Samuel D. Tweah to make US$150,000 available to fly the minister for further treatment.

A former Senator from Sinoe County, Mr. Nyenpan, 54, was appointed by President Weah in February 2018 and confirmed by the Senate on February 15, 2018 as Minister of Public Works.

Mr. Nyenpan won his seat in the 2005 general elections, running on the ticket of the Alliance for Peace & Democracy (APD).

During his time in the Senate, Mr. Nyenpan served as Co-Chair – Public Works & Rural Development; Information, Broadcasting, Culture and Tourism and was a Member of the Executive; Defense, Intelligence, Security and Veteran Affairs; Maritime; Planning and Economic committees.