Thousands of mourners and sympathizers on Thursday occupied the national assembly of the Gambia in Banjul to pay their last respect and bid farewell to the first president of the Republic of the Gambia, Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara as he was laid to rest. His body was escorted from the mortuary to the king fahad mosque and finally to the national assembly where he was finally laid to rest at 19:00. Jawara was the first president of the Gambia from thirty years before he was finally brought down in 1994 in a coup D Etat.
The speaker of the national Mariam Jack Denton in her statement said that the Gambia is gathered to pay their last respect to an icon who was not only a leader but someone who many can reflect on during difficult times. The day she noted is a saddening day and that the whole parliament because the country has lost a replaceable soul and a noble servant of their time. She expressed her gratitude Particularly to him for the years he spent devoted to the lives of the Gambian people both at national, regional and continental levels. She called on the widow lady chilel to continue devoted as she is a clear example to all women in the country who she noted had played a big role in the life of late Jawara.
Dr. Lamin Marenah a family friend of the late Sir Dawda Jawara hailed Jawara for his achievements, noting that Jawara did not enrich him selves as we have seen around the world but devoted his entire life in liberating the Gambians. He thank the Gambian people for standing with them throughout this moment.
Dawda Jawara junior on behalf of the Jawara family reflect on the examples of his father’s life. Those close to him he said could not hear him but learned to be down to earth and loyal to those behind him, adding that Jawara was very neutral and fair on issues under his preview without taking sides but being able to see all sides. He noted that Jawara faced lots of challenges in both his public and person lies.
Omar Jallow commonly called OJ, a one-time minister under Jawara on behalf of the former cabinet ministers said the day is for all Gambians as Jawara’s children in the political arena as much as they morn him. “ We are the people who he groomed and that we will morn and carry on”, he said. He noted that the day is sad bu also deserves celebrations looking at where Jawara picked nd ended his leadership duties for the Gambia. Jawara he said played a key role in liberating the Gambia both at national and international levels on economic, social, cultural and many areas against tyranny and suppressions. Jawara he said encompasses everyone without race, sex, tribe, gender, and many others, adding that Jawara never undermines the constitution and legal instruments of the Gambia. OJ also used the day to encourage widow lady chilel for her duty to the nation through her late husband Jawara. He also thank the Senegalese niassen delegation for being part of the mourning and celebration of the Gambia icon, Jawara. That Jawara was a close friend to Baye Niasse and the Nyassen family in Senegal.
Sidia Jatta national assembly member for wuli east on behalf of the NAMs said that the day is a reality as death is the only reality of our existence. Jawara he noted lived his life in the service of other people and that is why he lived long. People who devoted their lives to better other he said will always live long. “What most marked me about Jawara was his tolerance, Jawara never arrested, detained or humiliated, or violates any of his working mates as we have seen around the world”, said Sidia Jatta. Jawara he said was a true democrat and that lessons must be drawn from him. He called on the younger generation be, to see the late Jawara as a life lesson.
Chief justice Hassan B. Jallow a one-time chief justice and Anthony general under Jawara for ten years delivered a rich statement on the struggles and achievements of Jawara both at national and international levels. He said that African has lost an icon while the Gambia has lost a great son. Jawara h said has maintainer sovereignty of the Gambia despite being faced with challenges
The president Adama Barrow on his statement extends his condolences to the family and the Gambian people. He affirmed the young people that to carefully reflect on the routes Jawara passed through. He consented that the day is a sadden and sorrowful one as the Gambia finally laid the most devoted person and the father of the nation who led the struggle for the Gambia we are calling for today. Jawara he said will not be only mourned but will he heavily celebrated and strongly recommended as the most prominent African leader in these generations. He extended his condolences to the family and the entire Gambian population, urging all to take responsibility and safeguard of what Jawara has left behind.