18 January 2013

Liberia: Senator's Illness Disrupts Session

Senators of the Liberian Senate abruptly adjourned session yesterday following reports that one of their colleagues, Sen. John Whitfield (Grand Bassa), had fallen ill the previous night, and was in a critical condition at a local hospital ready to be flown abroad for medical treatment.

"I move that this session be adjourned until next Tuesday," Sen. Abel Momolu Massaley motioned.

Due to the un-ceremonial and unexpected decision, many senators rushed out of the chambers immediately following adjournment of their session leaving reporters and public spectators in wondering.

The Senate was set with a quorum and ready for business, and the usual prayer sermon was conducted on schedule by the clergy, according to the agenda of the plenary.

But the sudden news of Sen. Whitfield's critical illness could not permit senators to continue with their normal legislative work.

"We have adjourned to attend to one of our colleagues, Sen. Whitfield who felt sick yesterday," Sen. Gbezohngar Findley (Grand Bassa), Senate President Pro-Tempore said, without disclosing the name of their ailing colleague. But he later named Senator Whitfield after inquiries by reporters.

Regarded amongst heavy weights at the Liberian Senate, Sen. Whitfield is credited with analytical skills during debates at the august body.

He was expected to be flown abroad last night for advanced medical treatment.

Meanwhile, senators are expected to resume their official session Tuesday.

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