By Roland M. Mulbah
Sheikh KafumbaKonneh, Chairman of the National Muslim Council of Liberia has died at age 71.
Family sources informed the The INQUIRER that the Muslim leader died yesterday, July 20, 2015 at about 5:00 P.M. at his home in Topoe Village, Gardnersville outside Monrovia. Family sources also hinted that the late religious leader died after suffering from a brief finger infection.
Musa Bility, former Chairman of the National Mandingo Caucus of Liberia also President of the Liberia Football Association (LFA), speaking at the home of the deceased, intimated that the esteemed Sheikh will be accorded State Funeral today at the Antoinette Tubman Stadium in central Monrovia beginning at 12:00 noon and his body will later be interred thereafter on the same day in Liberia.
Some institutions and individuals expected to pay tributes at today’s funeral include the National Muslim Council of Liberia, the Liberia Council of Churches, the Legislature, the Chief Justice, Citizens of Nimba County, Inter-Faith and the Liberian Government through President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. Some Muslim leaders at the home of the late Sheikh KafumbaKonneh yesterday expressed grief over the passing of the religious leader.
Ibrahim Al-bakriNyei, former President of the National Muslim Students Association of Liberia described the passing of Sheikh KafumbaKonneh as a great loss to the Liberian nation. “He was a champion of peace and religious coexistence in Liberia. He dedicated his life not just to lead the Muslims, but also ensured that Liberia be peaceful and it’s people united. He was a religious leader with high morale who provided both religious and political leadership particularly in mediating warring factions during the height of the civil war. Liberia has lost a great assist,” the youth leader who could not hold back his tears concluded.
Musa Bility, former Chairman of the National Mandingo Caucus described the late Sheikh KafumbaKonneh as a legend and peaceful leader who will be missed by everyone.
Montserrado County District#5 Representative, SekouKonneh described his death as a big gap in the Liberian society and noted that the late Konneh served both Christians and Muslims who brought peace to Liberia.
The late Konneh was a Liberian Muslim Authority who had a long record of conflict resolution and peace-building efforts throughout the major civil and military conflicts in Liberia. In addition to his theological (Al-Islamic) achievement, the Sheikh studied secular law through apprenticeship.
He held several positions in the civil service, including Justice of the Peace, Associate Stipendiary Magistrate and County Commissioner in Nimba County, his birthplace. He also served as Secretary-General and Managing Director of the Liberian Muslim Union in addition to serving as Secretary-General and National Chairman of the National Muslim Council of Liberia.
The late Konneh served as head of the Interreligious Council of Liberia, a group comprising Christians and Muslims. He also served as Chairman of the Muslim Council of Liberia. A vocal Muslim Cleric, Sheikh Konneh was best known for speaking out on crucial national issues in Liberia.
Like the late Archbishop Michael K. Francis, Sheikh Konneh was considered as a voice of the voiceless in the Liberian society. He was one of the prominent sons of Liberia.