The national chairman of the opposition Liberty Party, Cllr Fonati Koffa, is calling on the family of the former Chairman of the National Transitional Government of Liberia (NTGL), Charles G. Bryant, to re-consider its decision not to accept a state burial for Mr. Bryant.
Speaking at a press conference on Thursday, April 24, at the Party’s District 7 office on Broad Street, the chairman explained that there are reports of Mr. Bryant’s disappointment over how the National Port Authority handled and reported its version of how a certain business’ transaction went down.
According to the LP chairman, the former head of state, Mr. Charles Bryant, was one of the engineers of the democracy that every Liberian enjoys today.
“There are certain choices that Mr. Charles Bryant should not make for himself, that are related to his service—especially his role in the peace process. Accordingly, the nation must accord him his due for the services he rendered the people of Liberia,” the Chairman emphasized.
“Mr. Bryant was able to organize the general and presidential elections in 2005 that was free of violence in the country; we have enjoyed 10 years of peace through his leadership as former chairman of the Interim government,” he said.
The chairman further explained that it is important for former heads of state to receive some opportunity in the government sector including special considerations on traveling, business arrangements, and in a number of other activities.
“Former heads of state should not be running after their lodges in Liberia when wanting to travel and must make arrangement involved with the process,” he stated.
According to the opposition political party chairman, there should be all necessary benefits for all former heads of state that would reflect their legacy of commitment that typified their service.
He said, “We want to give the former head of the state, Mr. Bryant, whatsoever he deserves as chairman of the Interim Government of Liberia; this is why we are calling on the family to re-consider its position on Mr. Bryant’s burial.
We hope that they (family members) can see reason to identify him as a statesman, who contributed to his country in many appropriate ways. The government must work with the family to ensure that he receives a befitting state-burial.”
According to Cllr. Fonati Koffa, the decision by the family members of the former head of state to turn down a state-burial was troubling and disturbing, considering the nation’s own reconciliation and peace process.
The chairman said “If the family does not agree to give the former head of state that burial, it means that he might not be given the treatment that a former chairman of the Interim Government of our country deserves.”
In another development, Cllr Kofa also stated that it is prudent for the former president, Dr. Charles G. Taylor, to receive his benefit as a former head of state, despite having been prosecuted by the international community. “Mr. Taylor is due under the law of Liberia all benefits that a former president of Liberia deserves.”
Meanwhile, the chairman disclosed that they are fully prepared for the upcoming special senatorial election, come October 14, and if a merger becomes necessary, it will be accepted by the Liberty Party.