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LPP wants National Day of Mourning following Totota tanker explosion 

The Liberian People’s Party (LPP) has called on President George Manneh Weah to declare days of national mourning to commemorate the Totota tanker explosion in Bong County.

LPP believes that the incident did not just affect the people of Bong County, but citizens from other counties that were living in the Totota area.

The party lamented that the manner and form in which the incident took place requires national commemoration and healing.

The party’s message was conveyed by the 2023 Vice Standard Bearer, Dr. Emmanuel Urey Yarkpawolo, when he paid a visit to Totota City, Bong County over the weekend.

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He visited the site to interact with citizens and as well to get firsthand information on how the incident occurred.

Dr. Yarkpawolo, as part of his visit, interacted with the people of Bong and sympathized with them on behalf of Cllr. Tiawan S. Gongloe, former LPP presidential candidate in the just-ended elections.

He also sympathized with them on behalf of the party and encouraged those who have relatives and loved ones in hospitals to remain hopeful and keep praying for God’s divine intervention upon them.  

During his visit, he also made some financial contributions in the name of the LPP.

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Dr. Urey Yarkpawolo in a brief interaction with the media in Bong County expressed his profound sympathies and said accidents of this nature happened due to ignorance, lack of proper law enforcement, and poverty. 

He however wants the government to institute measures that will prevent the reoccurrence of such incidents. 

“On behalf of our leader, Cllr. Tiawan Saye Gongloe, and in the name of the Liberian People’s Party, we expressed our deepest sympathies to the bereaved families of this incident, and we pray for God’s intervention in the lives of those that are into the various hospitals,” Dr. Urey Yarkpawolo consoled the people of Totota.

During the well-attended program with the President-Elect, Amb. Joe Boakai in attendance, Dr. Urey Yarkpawolo said: “I also call on President George Weah to institute two to three days of national mourning.”

 “Because this thing that happened in the first place should not have happened. We thought by now the Government of President Weah would have instituted days of national morning and healing, but we have not seen that yet,” he continued. 

“Perhaps that is in the making but it is taking too long,” Dr. Yarkpawolo noted.

On Tuesday, 26 December 2023, dozens of people were killed on a roadside in Totota city after they rushed to scoop up gas from an overturned tanker before it exploded.

Up to Saturday, 29 December 2023, health officials had said more than 60 people had died in the blast, while others were responding to treatment at various hospitals across the country. 

A video circulating on social media showed people running from the explosion, some of them wrapped in flames, as thick, black smoke rose from the tanker.

Living standards are dire in Liberia, where more than four-fifths of the population do not have sufficient access to food, according to the World Bank, and prices for staples like rice and oil have soared over the past two years.—Press release

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