Flood of Tears At Kromah’s Burial -Liberians Show Final Respect for Fallen Statesman

The body of the late Alhadji GV Kromah was yesterday laid to rest after a well-attended state funeral held at the Antoinette Tubman Stadium on Lynch Street, Central Monrovia.

The funeral of Mr. Kromah, also a former Vice Chair of the Council of State, a renowned public servant, a journalist and university professor, witnessed a huge outpour of tributes, tears, wailings and grief from the multitude of government officials, friends, well-wishers and sympathizers.

Like yesterday, which saw the inundation of a cross-section of the public at the burial, the announcement of Professor Kromah’s death attracted an avalanche of citizens to his residence to condole the bereaved family.

Thousands stormed the ATS to pay their last respect to the fallen Liberian statesman whose life and time meant different things for each and every one of those who graced the occasion.

The hearse that conveyed his remains made its way to ATS as early as 8 am when many people mostly from Muslim community had virtually filled up a sizeable portion of the stadium awaiting the commencement of the program.

Upon sighting the hearse, some of the mourners who were on and around the perimeter of the field swarmed on the vehicle to either take a glimpse of the coffin which was wrapped with the national flag of Liberia or convey it to the area marked to be placed while the funeral service took place.

The coffin bearing his body was carried on the shoulders of the mourners and taken to the spot it was meant to be while a shield made of individuals posing as security circled it to prevent unauthorized people getting access to the vicinity.

In attendance were prominent individuals and close family members, including the political leader of the All Liberia Coalition Party (ALCOP), Lusinee Kamara, Sekou Damate Konneh, former leader of the Liberia United for Reconstruction and Development (LURD), former Deputy Director of Police, Abraham Kromah.

Delivering the funeral discourse and offering prayers for the repose of the soul of the late Kromah, the Chief Imam of Liberia, Sheikh Ali Krayee, described him as a true hero who made immense sacrifices to fight for his people when it was needed most. The Muslim cleric said that the late Kromah abandoned the academia to lead a struggle for the survival of his people.

Sheikh Ali Krayee said: “He lived his life well and did not betray his people. He stood by them and fought for them. He was a true hero and in life it is important to live for something positive that you will be remembered for. Our brother was a worthy person and we ask Allah to forgive his sins and grant him eternal rest.”

The official gazette issued by the government of Liberia through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs extolled the virtue, life, time and services of the fallen statesman and all that he rendered to the state and its people.

The gazette recalled the enviable public service history of Mr. Kromah, starting with his first position as special assistant to former Vice President Bennie D. Warner, Assistant Minister of Information for Public Affairs, Director of News, Liberia Broadcasting System(LBS), two times as Director General of the Liberia Broadcasting System(LBS), Minister of Information, Lecturer at the University of Liberia and the Foreign Service Institute at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Senior consultant at the National Investment Commission(NIC), the Liberia Petroleum Refining Company(LPRC), Vice Chairman of the Council of state during the series of transitional governments.

It also listed his membership to the Liberia National Bar Association, the Press Union of Liberia, the Mighty Barrolle Sports Association, etc.

Foreign Minister Dee Maxwell Kemayah, speaking on behalf of the government, extended deep sympathy to the bereaved family and said that the demise of Kromah was also a huge loss to the country.

He had earlier stated that the President would have attended the state funeral but due to his official trip to Gambia to attend the inauguration of the Gambian Leader Adama Barrow.

Former Vice President Joseph Nyumah Boakai who was among an array of dignitaries at the program and who had described himself as a friend to the late Alhadji Kromah spoke glowingly of Kromah’s character as a decent man.

He recounted his friendship with him during their respective public service careers which he described as outstanding as well as both of them hailing from Lofa County.

Also at the funeral service, besides Minister Kemayah speaking on behalf of the government, Representative Mariamu Fofana of District #4, Lofa County and Cllr. Yousif Kaba , Associate Justice of the Supreme Court spoke on behalf of the National Legislature and Judiciary respectively.

While both of them paid tributes to the deceased for the many contributions made to nation and its people, especially the Muslim community, they also prayed to God to grant the bereaved family the fortitude to bear the loss and grant the deceased eternal rest.

A series of other tributes came from institutions the late statesman was associated with. The first of such came from the Barrolle Sports Association, an institution the late Kromah served meritoriously as President in the 80’s.

Minister of Sports, D. Zeogar Wilson, led some officials that included former Speaker Alex Tyler who now serves as President, and other former players including Washington Blay and James Salinsa Debbah, among others.

Minister Zeogar recalled the tenure of the deceased where he raised the morale and status of the club and made it a household name in the Liberia sporting community as well as its outing in continental matches.

He also reiterated the tribute and both consoled the bereaved family for the colossal loss as well as asking God to grant him rest.

The media fraternity, the Press Union of Liberia, represented by Musa Konneh, said that it was sad losing such a man who in no small way taught and provided educational guidance to a lot of media professionals in the country while teaching and mentoring students at the University of Liberia.

He said the Press Union of Liberia will sincerely miss him for what he has contributed to it and asked the bereaved family to remain strong in such a sorrowful time.

Professor Weade Wureh-Boley, Vice President for Administration at the University of Liberia, speaking on behalf of the University of Liberia, the institution where the late teacher spent most of his time molding the minds of a good number of students over the years, said the UL received the news of his death with sorrow and regretted that he was leaving at the time the highest state run tertiary institution needed him most.

She mentioned the many sacrifices Mr. Kromah made to the university, especially during very critical time when many qualified people were avoiding offering their services to the institution

An executive of the All Liberia Coalition Party(ALCOP), the political party he founded, praised him for being a leader worthy to follow and said though he was dead, the legacy left behind will forever live on.

The Student Unification Party (SUP) from the University of Liberia also made its presence felt when it stormed the scene with its usual battle cries, chants and songs as well as paying tribute to eulogize him for the struggles he led while serving as Chairman of the campus based political institution during his student days.

Speaking on behind of the family, the daughter of the deceased, who was dressed in a white flowing gown had difficulty holding back her tears but summoned the courage to acknowledge the contributions made by the government, the Muslim community, family members, friends and associates of the late statesman for the assistance given him during the period of his ailment and in death.

She said the family was stricken from the incident, stating it will be a hard experience they will have to embrace for sometime.

The wife, Clarice, was too depressed to say anything and the family left the stage for the funeral to come to an end.

Meanwhile, the funeral which was well attended by prominent personalities, including government officials, was witnessed by Former Vice President Joseph Nyumah Boakai, Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Finance, Dee Maxwell Saah Kemayah and Samuel D. Tweah, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, Cllr. Yousif Kaba, Representatives Mariamu Fofana of District #4, Lofa County and Dr. George ES. Boley of District #2, Grand Gedeh County, Mr. Musa Hassan Bility, Chairman of the Liberty Party, Mr. Lusinee Kamara, Political Leader of the All Liberia Coalition Party (ALCOP), Sekou Damate Konneh, former leader of LURD, Mr. Abraham Kromah, former Deputy Director for Operations, Liberia National Police, Chief Imam of Liberia, Sheikh Ali Krayee, the Religious Advisor to the President and other top officials of government and prominent people

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