Better Tributes Fallen Charles Sirleaf Deserves -‘Donation to Central Prison, Not Cash, Flowers,’ Says Ma Ellen’s Presidential Center

MONROVIA – That swarms of sympathizers and mourners have been converging on the residence of former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and family and will subsequently certainly do so at burial proceedings of veteran banker and humanitarian Charles Sirleaf is an understatement. The Sirleaf family clan has gained outstanding fame in touching lives of incredible numbers of people, both low and high, who would scramble to tender their modest or copious gratitude and condolences. It is no doubt speeches are being intentionally sketched, written words exceptionally weaved, and cash or material donations lavishly packaged to present to the Sirleafs. This is traditional as it is befitting for such a revered family. But in all this, there is one tribute that will highly stand out in touching the soul of the family—that is any donation to the Central Prison of Monrovia and to the needy. THE ANALYST tells why this is so.

To the shock of the nation, and particularly to the family, Mr. Charles E. Sirleaf, 68-year son of former president of Liberia, passed away Sunday, June 3, 2024, sources divulging he “left in his sleep”.

Groggy with grief, the former Liberian head of state has not been able to speak to the media since the unfortunate incident. This is the second time in three years that she has lost beloved sons, the first being James Sirleaf who died in 2021.

The Analyst has been tenuously endeavoring to extract a word or two from the former President on burial arrangements but to no avail except for hints gathered from sources close to the family.

Specifically, her civil society organization called the Ellen Johnson Sirleaf Presidential Center for Women and Development was generous to share a bit of information.

Asked how the burial formalities would be, who were expected and the protocols for tributes, the group said the Sirleafs would not be happy receiving direct cash and flowers from sympathizers but would prefer donation to the Central Prison of Monrovia, its inmates and to needy, something reflective of the nature of their fallen son, father and uncle.

In August 2021, the former President’s son spent a few weeks at the Monrovia Central Prison where, following his release, he maintained charity relationship with inmates, helping to improve the facility while there and connection with folks at the prison.

The Analyst could not gather whether it is by the fallen Sirleaf’s will this request is made, but the EJS Center said in a press release that the former president and family would prefer, as they put it, “gift of sustenance donated in the spirit of generosity and friendship in the loving memory of Charles Sirleaf” to those in the room of the Central Prison where he was illegally and unjustly confined for a few weeks but was able to bring friendship and improved facility to them during that period of his confinement”.

The Center further stated: “The Ellen Johnson Sirleaf Presidential Center for Women and Development, on behalf of the mother, requests that we respect his memory by not giving flowers or money but by donating food items to the Central Prison and needy.”

The former Liberian president is gifted four children, and Charles was one of them. Many say he would be remembered for his sense of charity, meekness and academic brilliance.

Like his mother, he went to the Liberian elite College of West Africa after which he pursued college and postgraduate degrees, prominent of which is MBA in Finance, Mercer University, Atlanta, Georgia, USA.

He rose from the post of Manager with the Citizens and Sothern Bank, Atlanta, Georgia to Manager for Banking and Debt Management, Deputy Governor and Acting Executive Governor of the Central Bank of Liberia.

Since his passing, a cross-section of Liberians and foreigners alike, both at home and abroad, have been expressing their condolences to Madam Sirleaf and family. President Boakai and a host of government officials, both former and present, have been reaching out to the family.

7 Comments
  1. Prince Tambah Nyumah says

    The family’s request for support through the charity organization is commendable. Offering sympathy and support to those in need, especially those who are going through punishments; some for crimes they did not commit, is a positive and compassionate act. I applaud the family for their efforts and believe that others, Liberians, should follow their example in offering condolences and sympathy to a Bereave family.

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