The grounds of the Capitol Building in Monrovia turned into the scene of dramas and unexpected happenings on Thursday, December 1, 2016 when partisans of the University of Liberia campus-based Student Unification Party and those of the opposition Liberty Party seriously tussled over the remains of fallen Lofa County Representative Eugene Fallah Kpakar.
For more than 30-minutes, each of the parties attempted claiming the remains of the fallen Lofa County Lawmaker – a stalwart of the Liberty Party and Student Unification Party, for appropriate escort into the Rotunda of the Capitol Building.
SUP had already escorted the body from the Samuel Striker Funeral home in Sinkor, with the understanding that upon reaching the Capitol, the Liberty Party would have taken over the final escort; but so-called militants resisted such arrangement on grounds that Kpakar was a loyal and influential stalwart of the student political party that should have given his remains such last honor and respect in a strong ‘militant form’.
SUP also attempted to remove the national flag over the coffin bearing the remains of Representative Eugene Fallah Kpakar and replace same with the SUP enzyme – something – again resisted by partisans of the Liberty Party under the guidance of Vice Chairman Darius Dillon and Executive Member Israel Arkinsayeh.
The conflict further exacerbated after partisans of the Liberty Party argued to have their flag placed on the casket of the lawmaker after the Students had marched with the coffin from the Samuel Stryker Funeral Pilours.
The Students protested to take the remains of the lawmaker into the Rotunda of the Capitol, resisting that the Liberty Party could not place its flag on the lawmaker’s casket, with a counter-argument by the Liberty Party that it was it should finally escort the body into the Capitol. The lawmaker’s was attended by past and present lawmakers, with tributes describing him as a national hero.
Speaker J. Emmanuel Nuquay, in his tribute, said the House of Representatives was overwhelmed by grief and sorrow for the untimely departure of the Lofa County Representative at such critical moment of the nation’s political sojourn.
He said they had embarked on working in the interest of the people before the death of the lawmaker, describing Rep. Kparkar as very passionate about taking development to his people and the country in general.
The Speaker noted that his death has created a wound that will be hard to heal. Speaker Nuquay also indicated that during the illness of Rep. Kparkar, the House of Representatives also contributed to his treatment, but it was the work of God and no one can ask him why.
Also paying tribute, the President Pro- Tempore of the Liberian Senate, Senator Armah Z. Jallah, said the Senate was sadden over the death of Rep. Kparkar, saying Rep. Kparkar will be remembered for always soliciting the support of Senators in written communications whenever he wanted a bill passed.
Meanwhile, the body of Rep. Eugene Fallah Kpakar is expected to be flown to his home, Foyah District, Lofa County today, December 2, for burial on tomorrow, Saturday. Both Speaker Nuquay and other senior government officials are expected to be at the burial.
By Bridgett Milton