Death of Sen. Doe-Sherif, First in 54th Legislature

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The late Sen. Geraldine Doe-Sheriff

The junior senator for Montserrado County, Geraldine Doe Sheriff, has died. Just five days shy of her 52nd birthday (February 14), family sources confirmed that her long-fought battle with cancer had come to an end.

“In this moment of pain, sadness and mourning, on behalf of my own, and on behalf of the Liberian Senate, I express my deepest condolences and entire solidarity with the family of Senator Geraldine Doe-Sherif, in mourning,” Grand Bassa County Senator Nyonblee Karnga-Lawrence told the Daily Observer yesterday.

After Jewel Howard Taylor — one of three female senators in 2017 — ascended to the Vice Presidency as running mate to George M. Weah who became President of the Republic of Liberia in 2018, Sen. Karnga-Lawrence and the late Sen. Doe-Sherif were the two remaining female Senators in the august body. Replacing Sen. Taylor was Dr. Henrique Tokpa, making the Senate chamber of the 54th Legislature 28 male to two female senators.

“Hmmmm!! Difficult one! She had so much energy and self confidence! She was bold and fearless! She was my partner and seat mate in the Senate chamber, we had a code and a sign to show when we were in a fight together,” said Sen. Karnga-Lawrence, now the lone female Senator.

“Our voices complemented one another, that made us louder than 28 men.

“We got even closer when she got sick, we got to know the actual human and spiritual side of one another, we prayed together and trusted God together.”

She added: “I feel like I am falling apart, but God is in control.”

“The floor fighter! The General!
Executive! My girl! Lady Zico!
The block leader!”

Sen. Doe-Sherif, the Senior Senator of Montserrado County, who is one of the longest served Chairperson on the Executive, Sen. Karnga-Lawrence said that her colleagues death has created a vacuum in the Senate, and her works will be unparalleled.

As of Tuesday, February 12, black or an appropriate mourning cloth will be hung at the Senate Wing of the Legislature.

Sen. Doe-Sherif, has been battling cancer for over 14 months. Family sources confirmed the news late Saturday and Liberian Senate has formally announced regrets. The Senator succumbed to the killer disease at the Korle-Bu Teaching hospital in Accra, Ghana, where she had gone for treatment.

The death of Sen. Doe-Sherif marked the second death in the Liberian Senate in seven years. Sen. Johnson Whitfied of Grand Bassa County died in 2017. Her death also marked the first death in the 54th Legislature, since it was seated on January 15, 2018.

During her tenure in the Senate, she served as chair on Executive, chair of the Committee on Transport and co-chair the committee on Commerce, Trade, and Industry. She also previously served as a member of the Ways, Means, Finance & Budget Committee; Social Security, Pension and Insurance; Public Accounts and Audits; Education and Public Administration.

In a gutsy move in May 2014, Doe-Sherif announced her departure from the CDC.

In January 2018, the Senator boldly considered vying for President Pro Tempore of the Senate, in spite of speculations that he was not qualified for the post. Eventually Senator Albert Tugbe Chie was unanimously elected to the position.

The former Montserrado County Senator, popularly known as “Lady Zico” following her previous football career and the former Chairperson of the Congress for Democratic Change (CDC), was elected Senator 2009 following the death of Senator Hannah Brent also of the CDC. Having completed the late Brent’s term, Senator Doe-Sheriff was re-elected in 2011 to become senior senator for the County. With her death, it means Sen. Doe-Sheriff has served the Senate from 2009 to February 9, 2019. Pending recovery, she would have been up for re-election in the 2020 special senatorial elections.

9 COMMENTS

  1. Frankly, fifty-four years is such a young age to see the sudden eclipse of a female political star in a country where, despite home of Africa’s first female President, gender inequality still happens to be a major challenge. But you’re one of the trail blazers and final victory looms in the horizon with the current resolve on equality of opportunities.

    Our dearly departed Senator Geraldine Doe, although some of us never met you, obviously, the short stay on earth was eventful, impactful, and, unequivocally, successful and, more importantly, you made your grieving parents, family, friends, and political supporters proud.

    Senator, without doubt, it was a well-fought battle your country and people won’t ever forget, so, beautiful brave warrior, Rest In Peace. And bloody death, be not proud scumbag, she is on her way to her Almighty Father in Heaven where you’re persona non grata – kicked out and forbidden

    • Can you remind us again of some of those “impactful, eventful, successful, etc.” things the late senator did? While we wait, better you continue waddling in melancholy over the demise of the senator as is expected with any normal being with heart, than insulting our sensibilities with these pot boiling platitudes.

  2. May her soul rest in peace but perhaps this is a reminder that there are many poor Liberians who die every day for lack of good healthcare. Perhaps God is sending a powerful message to our greedy, selfish, elitist leaders that unless you fix the healthcare problem, you may not live long to enjoy your new-found wealth. You will become a statistic of our poor healthcare system and you can bet on it.

    Ghana or another nation will not save you because it might be too late. The human body is like a car which must be serviced by trained mechanics with good instruments, not hundreds or thousands of miles away but somewhere in the vicinity. Thus if one had to travel one thousand miles to service his car, it might never get done until the car eventually dies. Preventive care is the best medicine but if you had to travel a thousand miles for regular checkup, you may as well just take your chance by praying to God for good health.

    Liberians look to God to solve problems they can solve themselves so when sickness comes…well they say, “if it’s my time, it’s my time.” We don’t learn from our history and we will not be frighten into action by the frequent loss of life of our prominent citizens and the average Joe because the priority of our leaders is about getting rich, not building a great nation. We love to say “tomorrow, tomorrow” until it’s too late.

  3. A poet once said, “Death is a road our dearest friends and loved ones have traveled.”

    Gone too soon Sen. Geraldine Doe-Sherif. May your soul rest in peace.

    It’s regrettable to see so many young Liberians traveled the road of death so early.

    May their souls also rest in peace.

  4. While we regret the sudden death of senator Sheriff from an illness even the most sophisticated hospitals in the world could not have reversed, at the same time, this death as with so many others of our citizens that have died in foreign hospitals especially in Ghana, ought to be a wake up call for us to equip at least one or two hospitals in Liberia to cater to our own challenging health needs. I can bet anybody that Sen. Sheriff sponsored herself to Ghana on this health trip, but with her untimely demise now, the GOL will now soulder the expenses of returning her remains to Liberia for interment. And not that the family could not afford that expense, but it just happens to be the tradition. The government will quickly cough up that amount, inflated by all the associated “dedeba.” The point being, all these needless extra-budgetary expenditures could be mitigated, if not prevented if government could be just employ small imagination and creativity backed by commonsensical policies, programs and actions.

  5. Rest In Peace Geraldine Doe Sheriff. May the Angels guide you into paradise. Thank you for all the contributions you made to uplifting women in Liberia. May your soul rest with our Father. I am so happy that I had the opportunity to know you. God is His own interpreter and He will make it plain.

    My sincere condolences to the family, the Liberian Senate and to the people of Montserrado County.

  6. Hilary Snyder,

    A funny foreign friend your response shocked couldn’t help but asked, “Is he just shooting breeze, or are Liberians that insensitive they don’t spare even the dead from political shallow-mindedness? Well, embarrassed, I explained you sound so civilized that probably Liberia is too much of a “shit hole” place for your cosmopolitan conveniences. He had few choice words that are inappropriate here.

    • Mr. Moses, nowhere in my remarks under this thread did I say anything disparaging of, or denigrating about the deceased senator in this story. I simply used the opportunity to drive a nail through the coffin of the moribund government your benefactors are mishandling in Liberia. Your so-called friend must be a Sierra Leonean as such, and just as myopic as you to have confused those comments as aspersion. Bunch of patented hustlers whose sole ambition is none other than preying on the semi-literate fools at the helm of our country as a result of some historical accident. But we shall see how long that stupidity will last, before it crumbles under its own dead weight.

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