5 January 2013

Liberia: President Sirleaf Signs Books of Condolence for Liberian Cultural Icon, Ivorian Victims

Monrovia — President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf led her Cabinet as they joined members of the National Legislature to sign a Book of Condolence in memory of Liberian cultural artist Peter Ballah, popularly known as "Flomo", who passed away on Monday, December 31st. The President and entourage continued on to the Embassy of la Côte d'Ivoire, where they signed a second Book of Condolence, to mourn over sixty Ivoirians who were trampled to death following a New Year's Eve fireworks display in Abidjan.

According to an Executive Mansion release, the signing in honor of Mr. Ballah took place at the Ministry of Information, Cultural Affairs & Tourism (MICAT), where the Liberian leader was joined by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. J. Alex Tyler, and the President Pro-Tempore of the Liberian Senate, Hon. M. Gbehzohngar Findley. Other legislators included Nimba County Senator Prince Y. Johnson and Bong County Senator Jewel Howard Taylor.

Members of the President's Cabinet present included: Foreign Minister Augustine K. Ngafuan; Internal Affairs Minister Blamoh Nelson; Education Minister Etmonia David-Tarpeh; Commerce Minister Miata Beysolow; Information Minister Lewis G. Brown; Gender Minister Julia Duncan Cassell; Civil Service Agency Director General, Dr. C. William Allen; and the Director-General of the Cabinet, Dr. Momo Rogers. Also present was Dr. D. Elwood Dunn, historian and the 2012 National Orator.

Cultural artist Peter Ballah was born on July 15, 1943. He died New Year's Eve at the Du Side Hospital in Harbel, Margibi County, following a brief illness.

Welcoming President Sirleaf and members of the Cabinet at the Ivorian Embassy was the country's Ambassador to Liberia, His Excellency Kapieletien Soro, and staff. Other Government officials who signed the Book of Condolence included: the Minister of State for Presidential Affairs, Dr. Edward B. McClain, Jr.; Police Director Chris C. Massaquoi; Legal Advisor, Cllr. Seward Cooper; and Youth Advisor, Dr. Emmanuel Dolo.

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