Abuja’s Diplomatic Community, Others Condole With Liberia; Embassy Opens Book of Condolence, Messages Pour In Over Tragic Fire Incident

Fire Disaster: Instructional staff, students gather to pay their last respect

(Abuja, September 22, 2019:) The Liberian Embassy in Abuja has been receiving dozens of condolence messages in the aftermath of the tragic September 18 fire incident that claimed the lives of nearly 30 Liberian students including a teacher at the Islamic Daawa School in Paynesville, Liberia.

A release from the Liberian Embassy in Abuja says 27 Liberians, 26 of them school  children, got killed in the fire believed to have broken out in the early hours of the morning of Wednesday, September 18, 2019 while they were sleeping in a building near their mosque outside the Liberian Capital, Monrovia.

Their remains had since been buried on the same Wednesday, after a short funeral rite attended by His Excellency President George Manneh Weah, president of Liberia.

Members of the Diplomatic and Consular Corps in Abuja, including ambassadors, high commissioners and heads of diplomatic missions, as well as other prominent Nigerians and organizations have been condoling with the Government and people of Liberia, particularly the parents, guardians and family members of the deceased, the release continues.

Up to press time, the Embassy had received 35 condolences messages and counting, 23 coming from other foreign diplomatic missions.

According to the release, the senior diplomats and other Nigerians expressed grief and their deepest condolences to the government and people of Liberia. Many described it as a ‘national tragedy’, while “praying for the Almighty God/Allah’s comfort for the affected families and rest the souls of the deceased at eternal peace”.

The Liberian Community, through its umbrella organization, the Organization of Liberian Communities in Nigeria (OLICON), in its condolence message referred to the school children as “our little angels”.

Chief Cliff Nzeruem, Liberia’s former Honorary Consul to Nigeria, said in his condolence message: “What a pity that this happened in a school”.

Mrs. Uche Chuta, Lead Coordinator, African Children Emergency Foundation (ACEF), remarked: “While praying for the repose of the children’s souls, we urge responsible authorities to protect the lives of children from such preventable hazards.”

Earlier, Ambassador Al-Hassan Conteh extended his deepest, heartfelt condolences to President Weah, the people of Liberia, and in particular, the Imam and families of the deceased students, adds the release.

Meanwhile, the Embassy has disclosed that it will open a Book of Condolence at its Chancery on Wednesday, September 25, 2019 from 11am to 4pm Nigerian time for government officials, members of the diplomatic and consular corps, heads of international organizations and the Liberian Community, the release concludes.

Below are the condolence messages received so far from members of the Diplomatic Corps as well as some prominent Nigerians and other foreign nationals:

  • High Commissioner of Bangladesh:
    “Excellency, Our deepest condolences for the loss of many lives including of children in Monrovia. May Allah preserve all of us. Regards, Shameem Ahsan, High Commissioner of Bangladesh.”
  • Amb. of Tanzania:
    “Excellency, our deepest condolences to the government and people of Liberia following that tragic accident. May the Almighty Allah comfort the affected families and rest the souls of the deceased at eternal peace, Amen.”
  • Amb. of South Sudan:
    “Our condolences to people and government of Liberia for this unfortunate tragedy!”
  • Amb. of Algeria:
    “Excellency and dear brother
    Our heartfelt condolences to the government and people of Liberia following this tragic accident.”
  • Amb. of Togo:
    “Très sincères condoléances aux familles éplorées et au peuple frère du Libéria. Puisse Dieu accorder aux victimes un repos éternel paisible.”
  • Amb. of Burundi:
    “Condolences for the loss of 28 students in that accident. In my culture they say that when your day of death has arrived, you never know where your death comes from and you cannot prevent it. So, condolences, such an accident can happen anywhere else in any country.”
  • Amb. of the Democratic Republic of Congo:
    “We offer our deepest condolences to the people and Government of Liberia for this tragedy. May God Almighty deign to receive in his Arms the souls of all those who have just left us.”
  • “Amb. of Mali:
    Excellency, dear brother,
    Our heartfelt condolences to the families of the victims, the people and the Government of Liberia following this tragedy. May the deceased rest in perfect peace.”
  • Amb. of Uganda:
    “Your Excellency, I offer to you, Government and the people of Liberia, heartfelt condolences. May the souls of the departed, rest in perfect peace.”
  • Chief Cliff Nzeruem, former Honorary Consul of Liberia to Nigeria:
    “Good morning my Ambassador. My sympathies go out to those kids in school that lost their lives in the fire. What a pity that this happened in a school. My condolences go out to the country and their parents.”
  • Mr. Ben Asante:
    “Excellency l have just read your message on the sad fire incidence at Paynesville. I am greatly horrified by the untimely loss of these innocent souls.
    MAY ALMIGHTY ALLAH grant them rest and comfort the families. Regards.”
  • Dr. Sam Alaha, Founder, Faith Ministry Jos, Plateau State, Nigeria:
    “I join the entire Liberian Government and The Embassy of Liberia, Abuja to Mourn over the tragic fire incident that has claimed the lives of those little school children. I pray The Good Lord to comfort us all. Accept my Deepest Condolence sir. My Deepest Regards to the President.”
  • Amb. of Burkina Faso:
    “Mes sinceres condoléances et toute ma compassion au peuple et au Gouvernement du Liberia ainsi qu’aux familles éplorées.”
  • Amb. of Republic of Benin:
    “Your Excellency and dear brother,
    Please receive our heartfelt condolences. May their souls rest In Eternal Peace in the name of Almighty God. Amen”
  • Amb. of Libya:
    “Your excellency good evening.
    Please accept my heartfelt condolences for the people of Liberia & the families of the deceased persons may allah almighty accept them in his vast paradises.”
  • Amb. of Rep. of Congo:
    “Our deepest condolences to the people of Liberia and the families of the victims. May their souls rest in perfect peace.”
  • Amb. of Ethiopia:
    “Excellency, I would like to extend our deepest condolences to the people and Government of Liberia on this tragic loss of lives. May their souls rest in eternal peace.”
  • High Commissioner of The Gambia:
    “Please accept Your Excellency my sincere condoleances and please extend the same to the government and people of Libéria. May Allah the Merciful grant the departed souls.”
  • High Commissioner of Cameroon:
    “Our heartfelt condolences to the bereaved families, and to the Liberian people.”
  • Amb. Guinea Bissau:
    “Excellency, dear Brother,please accept our deepest condolences to the families of the deceased and the people of Liberia.
    Ambassador Henrique Adriano da Silva”

Mrs. Uche Chuta, Lead Coordinator, African Children Emergency Foundation:

“I wish on behalf of the African Children Emergency Foundation(ACEF), to express condolences on the sad incident. While praying for the repose of the children’s souls, we urge responsible authorities to protect the lives of children from such preventable hazards.”

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About Cholo Brooks 13508 Articles
Joel Cholo Brooks is a Liberian journalist who previously worked for several international news outlets including the BBC African Service. He is the CEO of the Global News Network which publishes two local weeklies, The Star and The GNN-Liberia Newspapers. He is a member of the Press Union Of Liberia (PUL) since 1986, and several other international organizations of journalists, and is currently contributing to the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation as Liberia Correspondent.