By Abdul Rahman Suagibu –
NEW AFRICA BUSINESS NEWS- The House of Representatives on Tuesday, April 23 opened the book of condolence in memory of the late Rep. Adolph Lawrence who died in a fatal car crash on March 25.
The signing ceremony, currently taking place at the Rotounda of the Capitol Building began with President George Manneh Weah and members of his cabinet, followed by Vice President Jewel Howard Taylor and the Liberian Senate and House Speaker Dr. Bhofal Chambers and members of the House of Representatives.
Chief Justice Francis Korkpor led the full Bench of the Supreme Court and was followed by past leaders including former VP Joseph N. Boakai and former First lady, Madam Nettie Blah, widow of the late former President Moses Z. Blah and members of the diplomatic corps.
A release from the Protocol Department of the House of Representatives, the signing ceremony continues today with members of the clergy, autonomous agencies, officials and citizens of District #15, Montserrado County and the public.
Senator Nyonblee Karngar Lawrence (LP, Grand Bassa County), widow of the late Montserrado County District #15 Lawmaker and family members attended the ceremony.
Meanwhile, lawmakers who knew Representatives Adolph Lawrence well for his principled and stances and sometimes occasional outbursts saluted him while they were queued in to sign the book of condolence at the rotunda of the Capitol Building.
VP Jewel Howard Taylor, following her signing and a long embrace with Senator Karnga-Lawrence spoke kindly of the fallen lawmaker to the press.
“He had a very good relationship with his colleagues. It is very devastating to lose him. He was strong, committed and outspoken. Talking about the need to represent his constituency, I believe he was a very good lawmaker,” she said.
Rep. Thomas Alexander Goshua II, (ANC, Grand Bassa County District #5), Chairman of the Grand Bassa Legislative Caucus noted that Rep. Lawrence advocated for the wellbeing of the Liberian people.
“At the Legislature he was a voice; speaking and advocating for the Liberian Legislature through the House of Representatives. He advocated for the wellbeing of this government to make positive impact in the lives of the people. Where he saw that things were going wrong, he will speak up to it. He was a founding member of the Independent Legislative Caucus which on yesterday (Monday, April 22) made headway by brokering peace,” Rep. Goshua lamented.
“I want to remember him for that role; especially he brought this group together for us to have achieved that. This is something that we credit him for. It is very hard as members of this Legislature to have seen him gone in that manner it happened. It is a difficult thing for us to get over and we pray that God gives us the strength and console his family, most especially his wife as she goes through this trial time.”
Rep. Robert Flomo Womba (Bong County, District #4) in his reminiscence stated: “Hon. Adolph Lawrence was a fierce floor fighter, and great debater. He was one of the guys who stood his grounds. I remember him lately, especially when he championed some bills and communications about the death of one of our citizens from the Central Bank. He was a floor fighter and a person who really lifted the Independence the Legislature.”
Rep. Dr. George Beyan Samah (Montserrado District #12), in his recollections, said: “Hon. Lawrence and I were in the same block. He was a nice man. We will miss him a lot. The last time he came to session, he put up a communication on the floor about the death of the late CBL employee and I was one of those who supported him. He was a friendly man. He was always willing to at least stop and say hello to all those he came across.”
Also speaking, Rep. Rustolyn Suacoco Dennis (Montserrado District #4) who is a member of the Independent Legislative Caucus of which Rep. Lawrence was instrumental in its formation intoned: “I will actually remember him during his last days, he was like telling the Liberian people what is within him. Apart from the old Adolph that was in the 53rd, I was happy to know that he stands for the truth, he stands for discipline, justice and above party sentiments. He was instrumental in establishing the Independent Legislative Caucus. His last days were remarkable. It (death) was a shock to us.”
Representative Lawrence was a member of the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change but that did not stop him from speaking out against the leadership of the House of Representatives and Speaker Chambers, who is also a CDC-stalwart. Rep. Thomas Fallah (CDC, Montserrado District #5) was appointed by Speaker Chambers to coordinate the funeral activities of their fallen colleague. In his recollection shortly after Rep. Lawrence’s death, he noted that although they would sometimes disagree on some issues, their fallen colleague was a loyal partisans and one of the gurus on the House’s floor.
We had our joke name called Lion. His death is something that we will forever regret. Our friendship went beyond the House of Representatives. We disagreed on some issues, but we were always allies and we always pushed our agendas, especially when I was involved in something, he was always there for me. He was always giving me pieces of advice as we steer the affairs of the Legislature.”
Fallah continues in his passionate reflection: “He was an astute Representative and very cooperative. At the level of the Caucus he was always there in finding the way forward. He was one of the gurus on the House’s floor. Whenever he takes issues, he made a lot of research and was very resourceful. I really enjoyed working with him. Even he was very instrumental in electing the President we have today. We will miss him, we regret it and now that we have been given the responsibility to coordinate his burial, we are going to work in our capacity to give him a befitting burial.”
For New Africa Business News Abdul Rahman Suagibu Reports, Africa Correspondent.