On Friday, March 16, Liberians woke up to news that Montserrado County District 11 Representative Moses Tandanpolie had died in what many have described as mysterious circumstances in the central provincial capital of Gbarnga.
Upon hearing that Hon. Tandanpolie’s remains were being transported to the St. Moses Funeral Home in Topoe Village, his electoral district, hundreds of marketers, relatives, friends and well-wishers thronged the St. Moses Funeral Home to catch a glimpse of the fallen lawmaker and ascertain the veracity of news of his death. All members of the Lower House of Representatives who converged on Gbarnga for a workshop, including Speaker Alex Tyler, as well as George Weah, political leader of the Congress for Democratic Change, the party he represented in the House of Representatives, were at the St. Moses Funeral Home to witness his remains being deposited.
Perhaps of more interest is the outcry that greeted news of his sudden death. All major radio stations in the country hosted special talk shows to gauge reactions about his death, and callers inundated the airwaves to express regret about his sudden demise. All contributors to the program were full of praise for him. He was described as a down-to-earth, serious-minded, honest and hardworking legislator, the only legislator who scored excellent in the LDI annual rating of members of the Legislature in 2010.
Even his colleague, the President, Vice President as well as the political leader of the main opposition CDC held him in high esteem, despite his Pidgin English. His re-election in 2011 for a second term as lawmaker of his district is evidence of his popularity and the high esteem in which he was held. The question then is what made Tandanpolie to gain so much respect and popularity?
Tandanpolie’s sojourn on earth is a true testimony of the adage that “Man’s destiny lies in his hands”. Despite the fact that he came to Monrovia at a late age, he endeavored to acquire the trappings of Western education, which prepared him for the enviable posts he occupied during his lifetime.
The late Tandanpolie was a go-getter, who did not feel too big or small to associate with anybody. But what made him to be liked by all is the fact that he was a humanist who felt other people’s pains and accordingly intervened to ease their suffering whenever he could. He did not feel too big to befriend just anybody, and his approach to issues made him to always triumph over them.
The fallen legislator was also respected and loved because he was a serious-minded person who took his work seriously. This is evidenced by the fact that he was rated as the best lawmaker, not only because he always contributed to debates, introduced bills for passage into law, but also because he never missed any parliamentary session.
The late Tandanpolie also put his country first in all he did. This is why people described him as a true nationalist and exemplary person. His interactions with people cut across party lines. The fallen legislator was said to have taken the initiative to intervene in the standoff between the CDC and the ruling Unity Party following the November 7 standoff that resulted in the death of one person, and in the wake of threats by the CDC to hold series of demonstrations in protest at the presidential result which the CDC claimed was flawed.
The fallen lawmaker also believed in telling people the fact when they go wrong, as he did to the Traditional Council of Liberia, when they gave kola nuts to Senators apparently to win their favor and confirm the current Internal Affairs Minister.
Indeed, Moses Hon. Tandanpolie was a special gift to Mama Liberia, and his life should be emulated by all. He proved that even without being highly educated, one can attain any status in life. Despite his minimal educational achievement, Tandanpolie was a huge personality who towered above many highly educated people.