Lofa County Senior Senator Sumo Kupee has suggested to the plenary of Senate that further discussions on the demise of Charles Gyude Bryant, former Chairman of the erstwhile National Transitional Government of Liberia, be dealt with at the level of the leadership of that august body.
“We don’t need to haul this too much,” said Sen. Kupee, “because Chairman Bryant’s contribution to this country was good for all of us, and if there is a problem I do not think that we should be pulling and hauling at this time of his demise. I think we can deal with it at the level of the leadership of the Senate, [who] will subsequently inform the plenary what the decisions are.”
Describing the issue as a very sensitive state matter, Pro Tempore Gbehzohngar Findley agreed with Senator Kupee that it be handled at the level of the leadership of the Senate.
The decision by the Senate at its 28th day sitting Thursday was prompted by a verbal concern raised by Maryland County Senator John Ballout on the lack of discussion from the position of the Senate on the death of Chairman Bryant, who passed away on Wednesday, April 16, 2014 at the John F. Kennedy Medical Center in Monrovia, at the age of 65.
Senator Ballout, who hails from the same county as the late NTGL leader, said the lack of discussion from the position of the Senate concerning the death of former Chairman Bryant, as well as the bereaved family’s decision to exclude the Government of Liberia from official participation in his funeral ceremony, needs that body’s attention.
“I opted to bring to the attention of the plenary the lack of discussions of the passing of a very eminent past leader, and for whatever reason or circumstances surrounding his death and the implications therein contained, it still doesn’t stop this plenary from being informed of his passing, from discussing his passing or having a representation to the family. We are talking about somebody responsible for transitioning this country from war to peace. His death has to be formally brought to the attention of the plenary, but that has not been done.”
Responding to Senator Ballout’s concern, Pro Tempore Findley disclosed that neither he, nor the President of the Senate or Secretary of the Senate has received any official communication from the family of the former Transitional leader.
“I think there are some issues between the family and the state, and I don’t know if those issues have been resolved. But as soon as those issues have been resolved we expect information from the Executive Mansion to the Legislature.”
The late Bryant led the country’s sixth interim government, known as National Transitional Government of Liberia (NTGL), from October 2003 to January 2006 as the consensus choice of the three major warring factions – Liberians United for Reconciliation and Democracy (LURD), Movement for Democracy in Liberia (MODEL), and Charles Taylor’s National Patriotic Front of Liberia.
According to the family, it was Chairman Bryant's wish that there be No Panegyric, No Official Gazette issued, No Laying in State, No 21-Gun Salute, No Military Escort, or any State function over his remains. The families intend to carry out his wishes.