The NEWS (Monrovia)

6 February 2013

Liberia: Ellen Signs Book of Condolence

President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf along with an array of government officials including members of the Liberian Senate on Tuesday signed the Book of Condolence for the fallen Grand Bassa County Senator John Francis Whitfield.

Journalists assigned at the Capitol Building could not get words from President Sirleaf after she signed the book of condolence as they were prevented by the security assigned to the president.

The late Senator Whitfield, who was also a Reverend, died on Wednesday, January 16, 2013 at the St. Joseph's Catholic Hospital in Monrovia after being rushed at the hospital for treatment late that evening.

Members of the Senate have expressed regrets over his death, terming it as a great loss not only to the people of Grand Bassa, but also to Liberia.

A close friend of the late Senator Whitfield, Senator Sando Johnson, told this paper in an interview that Senator Whitfield's death is a "big blow" to the National Patriotic Party of which the fallen Senator served as Secretary General.

Senator Johnson said despite the death of Senator Whitfield, they would continue their advocacy to ensure that the Liberian government does the right thing.

The late Senator Whitfield would be remembered for being vocal on national issues and most notably the issue regarding a communication sent to that august body by former President Charles Taylor to get his retirement benefits.

The former Senator is expected to be buried Friday in his home town in Grand Bassa County.

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