President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf has equated the death of Liberia’s Islamic leader Sheikh Kafuma Konneh to the “fall of a giant tree” that impacts other trees in the forest.
Sheikh Kafuma died at 72 on Monday, July 20, just after Liberian Muslims ended their month-long fasting in observation of Ramadan. President Sirleaf and heads of the Legislative and Judicial Branches of Government, as well as religious leaders, among multitudes of Muslims and none-Muslim Liberians, assembled Tuesday at the Attoinette Tubman Stadium to pay tributes to the fallen Liberian “hero.”
“When a giant tree falls in a forest it impacts other trees far and near,” she said yesterday, saying Liberia will profoundly remember Sheikh Kafuam Conneh for his fearlessness, courage and principles.
President Sirleaf said when conflict raged the country, the late Sheikh Kafuam stood as an outstanding proponent in a search for lasting peace for Liberia.
She said Liberia mourns a great loss as the nation strives to consolidate the peace for national healing and reconciliation. House Speaker Alex Tyler said Sheikh Kafuma worked for peace, admonishing Liberians to work to sustain the peace regardless of religion.
Catholic Arch Bishop Jarome Zeglar described the late Kafuma as a true Liberian and patriot who worked for peace to prevail, further indicating that Sheikh Kafuma’s patriotism and friendship was not only with Muslims, but also Christians with whom he had worked.
The Arch Bishop cautioned Muslims and Christians to live as one because they were one people, adding that there was one God that “we serve.” Speaking on behalf of the Inter-religious Council of Liberia, Dr. Benjamin Lartey recalled that back in the days, many Muslims and Christians did not support the late Sheikh Kafuma and the late Arch Bishop Michael Francis in their work that now brings about peace among the religious groups.
But Dr. Lartey indicated that his worry now was that Liberians – Christians and Muslims, must continue the peace and all that have been built over the years, despite the passing of the fallen heroes.
Following a funeral discourse by a Muslim cleric at the ATS Tuesday, the protocol indicated that Sheikh Kafuma’s internment would have taken place at Samukai Town near the township of Caldwell, Montserrado County. – By Winston W. Parley