Family of Fallen Lawmaker Rejects Government-Sponsored State Funeral

MONROVIA, Montserrado – The family of the fallen Montserrado representative, Adolph Lawrence, has written the leadership of the House of Representatives to waive their right to a government-sponsored state funeral for the former statesman.

Lawrence was pronounced dead at the John F. Kennedy Memorial Hospital on Monday morning after being involved in a fatal car crash late Sunday night, along with four others. He was a vocal lawmaker who raised issues with the government, including the leadership of the House of Representatives.

His wife, Senator Nyonblee Karngar-Lawrence of Grand Bassa, who wrote the speaker of the House, Bhofal Chambers, on behalf of the family, said although every lawmaker was entitled to a government-funded state funeral, she was also fully aware of the financial constraints with which the government is confronted with, as a senator.

“We have therefore decided to forfeit such privilege, as is due my late husband,” Karngar-Lawrence said.

She said the requisite funding to underwrite the cost associated with her husband’s funeral has already been raised from his estate, as well as his family, friends, and supporters.

The widow of the late lawmaker said she looked forward to the House of Representatives’ collaboration in executing other relevant protocols surrounding her husband’s burial.

In related news, President George Weah extended sympathy to the Lawrence and Karngar families, the National Legislature, and Montserrado’s 15th district.

“I urge that we all keep the bereaved families and all those affected by this tragedy in our prayers as they go through this moment of deep sorrow,” Weah wrote on his official Facebook page.

He urged that as the nation mourns the loss of Lawrence and the Montserrado senator, Geraldine Doe-Sheriff, who also recently lost her life, Liberians should use the time as a tool for solidarity, national healing, and seek God’s protection and guidance upon their leaders and nation in pursuing building and prosperity.

Unlike Weah’s statement of sympathy, some comments made on social media by claimed supporters of the ruling party appeared to rejoice in the lawmaker’s death.

George Massaquoi was one of such who wrote on the Costa Show page suggesting that the lawmaker met his demise because he had tried to undermine the government.

“God will beat your [sic] one by one. We made you and your [sic] were sponsoring protest to bring our government down,” Massaquoi wrote. “God brought you down.”

Those riding on the vehicle with the lawmaker during the accident were the chair and three members of the University of Liberia-based Student Unification Party. The party officials have recently been critical of Weah’s administration.

Featured photo by Zeze Ballah

Gbatemah Senah

Senah is a graduate of the University of Liberia and a recipient of the Jonathan P. Hicks Scholarship for Mass Communications. Between 2017 and 2019, he won six excellent reporting awards from the Press Union of Liberia. They include a three-time Land Rights Reporter of the Year, one time Women's Rights Reporter of the Year, Legislative Reporter of the Year, and Human Rights Reporter of the Year.

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