A Mansion for the Dead?

The gravesite of Minister McGill’s mother is modern and fully equipped with electricity, guards to ensure that his late mother, Ma. Watta’s bronze compartment is not stolen.

The Minister of State for Presidential Affairs, Nathaniel McGill led an array of top brass of the ruling party to a rather luxurious and extravagant burial of his mother, the late Watta Varmah McGill, in Margibi County, Liberia. 

The event came as a shock to many that Minister McGill, who buried his mom yesterday had her burial in a stylish mausoleum that is big enough for a three-bedroom family home. 

A mausoleum is ​​a building, especially a large and stately one, housing a tomb or tombs.

The interior and exterior of the mausoleum, including the floor, were tiled in marble. Located about 50km (30 miles) from the nation’s capital, Monrovia, the mausoleum is fenced in with gardens planted all around and fully electrified.   

Mother McGill is laid to rest in a shiny bronze casket interred in a marble-tiled grave. At the entrance of the burial site, a relief of an angel stands before the entrance of the covering.  

Many have dubbed McGill’s feat as the ‘burial of the year’ and rightly so. Others are wondering why the Minister of State, knowing full well the condition of the struggling masses, decided to  bury his mother in such an opulent style.

Unconfirmed reports have estimated that the project cost the Minister between US$20,000 and US$50,000. 

“Not even Liberia’s first president, Joseph Jenkins Roberts, was buried in such grand style,” a commentator told the Daily Observer

At the age of 70, Mother Watta Varmah succumbed to the cold hands of death on Saturday, June 26, 2021. 

She was buried on Thursday, July 22, 2021, near the National Cemetery of Ebola victims, in Nedowein Community along the Monrovia’s Robertsfield Highway, Margibi County. 

The gravesite of Minister McGill’s mother is modern and fully equipped with electricity, guards to ensure that his late mother, Ma. Watta’s bronze compartment is not stolen. 

The funeral, which was also carried live on some social media platforms, was met with a barrage of criticism of some angry and diehard and loyal CDCians, many who still do not have electricity. Yet, Minister McGill’s late mother’s grave is fully electrified, with electrical sockets. 

Preaching the funeral discourse, Rev. Dr. Tolbert Thomas Jallah, Dean of the Monrovia District Church in Liberia, said the late mother Watta’s life was well lived as she served the Lord without reserve, giving effortlessly and leading fearlessly. “Though shaken, our anchor remains Jesus Christ in whom we have the assurance that we will one day meet in a place where there is no pain.”

Rev. Jallah, in a funeral discourse yesterday, expressed sadness over the passing of the pastor, describing her as a much-loved clergywoman.

He noted that mother Watta lived a life that was a pattern of good works and prayed to God to grant her soul eternal rest. 

The funeral was attended by the Finance Minister Samuel D. Tweah, Internal Affairs Minister Varney Sirleaf, Liberia’s Chief of Protocol, Amb. Jervis Witherspoon, along with a host of other ranking government and party officials. 

President George Manneh Weah was not in attendance. 

The opulent burial of Min. McGill’s mother comes barely a week after the youth league of the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change scolded two government officials for what the group described as “a reckless display of wealth, while the vast majority of the people struggle for better living conditions.”

The CDC Youth League’s criticism was directed at J. Emmanuel Potter, who works at the Ministry of State as an Assistant Minister, and the Commissioner of the Liberia Maritime Authority, Lenn Eugene Nagbe.

Potter was criticized for buying an Audi Q7 vehicle for his wife’s birthday and pouring a bottle of champagne on the car as he revealed the luxury vehicle to her.  The act, which went viral on Facebook, angered the Youth League of the ruling party, who questioned his ability to afford the vehicle for his income bracket. 

Nagbe, on the other hand, was scolded for uploading several pictures of himself “eating luxurious meals” at some of the country’s premier restaurants with the caption, “Food versus Man.” 

Both men’s actions, according to the CDC youth league, do not only exude opulence but incentivizes insensitivity, and inhumanity as well as sheer arrogance, and total disrespect to the vast majority of Liberians who voted the CDC into power, yet “they struggle to afford a daily meal.” A former CDC stalwart, commenting on the burial place of Mother McGill, summed it up aptly: “​​I want to ask where is the CDC youth Wing, but I will not.  They were on Eugene for a plate of food.  They were on Potter for buying his wife a used car and popping champagne for the occasion.  CDC Revolutionary Youth Wing, what you say on this one?”