Circle Pines, Minnesoa — The Former Chairperson of the erstwhile Council of State of Liberia, Madam Ruth Sando F. Perry was finally laid to rest over the weekend in Columbus, Ohio. Among Liberian dignitaries who attended the funeral procession, included Vice President Joseph N. Boakai who described Perry as "An Outstanding and Great African Woman. On the other hand, our new network, Wish Info Network has expressed dismay over the lack of memorializing some of our Liberian leaders over others.
Why were the remains of Angie Brooks Randolph flown to Liberia for national burial and not Madam Perry whose hard earned risks helped to bring peace into Liberia? It can be also stated that as a stateswoman, the deceased Madam Perry also invested in the fight against war, discrimination, exploitation, inhumanity and violence. As a result, Madam Perry should have been memorialized like her Americo-Liberian counterpart Angie Brooks.
Our political team also learned that at the continental level, Madam Perry was duly recognized as an African "Woman of Substance" at the African Union Diaspora African Forum in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Although in his tribute, Vice President Boakai acknowledged that 'indeed Liberia remains in deep grief for the profound loss of the distinguished Madam Perry, and in his own words, a "towering daughter of Liberia and the African Continent," this network wonders why the late Liberian Icon was not flown into Liberia by the government of Madam Sirleaf?
When a national emblem leaves this world, the state has a responsibility to bestow the appropriate national rites to such a symbol.
Madam Perry died quietly at the home of her son, Ralph Perry, in Colombus, Ohio in the early hours of Sunday morning."She died in my hands this morning," Ralp Perry said.
Madam Perry, who had been ailing for quite some time, was interim chairwoman of the Council of State of Liberia from September 3, 1996 to August 2, 1997.
Prior to the election of President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, Perry was regarded as the first female president of Liberia and of contemporary Africa.
Ruth Perry handed the presidential powers to President Charles Taylor following the 1997 presidential elections that ended more than a decade of civil war.
Born on July 16, 1939, in Grand Cape Mount County, Perry was the daughter of Marjon and AlHaji Semila Fahnbulleh.
Her parents later enrolled her in a Roman Catholic school for girls in Monrovia run by missionary nuns.
Ruth Perry graduated from the Teachers College of the University of Liberia and later worked as an elementary school teacher in Grand Cape Mount County.
She married McDonald Perry, a judge and legislator and they had seven children, one of whom, Georgia Jebbeh Perry, resides in the state of Rhode Island with her husband Augustus Duncan and their 5 children.
Madam Perry previously worked in the Monrovia office of Chase Manhattan Bank in 1971 and taught at a Sande school as an elder.
When her husband was involved in politics, Ruth Perry engaged in the electoral campaign and tried to get women to vote for him. After her husband died, the party asked Ruth to run as senator for their home district.
In 1985, Perry won a seat in the Liberian Senate as a Unity Party candidate.
Probing further, our political reporter also discovered that, back in 1985, Madam Ruth Perry broke ranks with the UP following the controversial 1985 elections won by Samuel Doe.
After Unity Party office-holders and other official opposition politicians boycotted the Senate in protest, asserting that the Doe government was illegitimate, Perry did not join the boycott and became the lone member of the opposition in the Assembly. The question is, was this action by the late Madam Perry the reason why her remains were not flown home and nationally memorialized?