By Makutu Manneh
State burial for the former President Dawda Jawara will take place on Thursday 29th August 2019, President Adama Barrow confirmed to Journalists.
Dawda Jawara who was the first President of The Gambia died at the age of 95. He became prime minister in 1965 and led the country through its independence from Britain.
Political and religious leaders, as well as citizens of the Gambia, gathered at the residence of the deceased to extend their condolences to the bereaved family.
A statement from the statehouse urged all flags to be lowered half-mast.
Political associates of the former president and other political leaders expressed their views on the demise of the Senior Statesman.
Alhagie Yahya Ceesay who was once minister of Agriculture and Local Government during Jawara’s regime, said whenever Sir Dawda goes for conferences outside the Gambia; he was always an exemplary to the African continent. He added that many people doubted Jawara when he promised to get the country independence from the former colony. He said despite the scepticism, the former president succeeded in fulfilling his promise.
He said Gambians should emulate Jawara because he was an educationist, a humanist and generous man who respected human rights “He is a great man”.
Lamin L.K Jamba Minister of Foreign Affairs during Jawara’s regime said Sir Dawda was a great man who respected human beings, human rights and protected Gambians’ human rights internally and externally.
Lawyer Ousainou Darbo said Jawara was the George Washington of the Gambia, adding he brought the Gambia liberty when political pluralism was somehow unknown. “We lost an icon. He is a person that we the younger ones should emulate,” said Darbo.
Imam “Ratib,” said death is inevitable but Jawara was a leader that the whole world admired. “He led many peaceful Organizations in a wonderful way,” he said, adding Jawara was a nice person who respected Gambians and had mercy for Gambians. “I’m praying for him to rest in peace,” he said.
Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara was born on May 16, 1924, at Barajally. He was a politician and veterinarian who served the Gambia as Prime Minister from 1965 to 1970 when he became the president of the Gambia. In 1959 he joined the Protectorate People’s Party and, in the elections of 1960, he won a seat in the Gambian legislature and was appointed minister of education in government. He resigned his ministerial post in 1961 and 1962 PPP won the general elections and Jawara became the Gambia’s Primier. Jawara survived an attempted coup in 1981 by Kukoi Samba Sanyang, but was overthrown in July 1994 by the military led by Yahya Jammeh. Although Jawara was barred from participating in national politics, he was active in regional affairs through his work with the Economic Community of West African States.
President Barrow on Tuesday afternoon with a high-powered delegation from the government visited the Family of Former President Jawara, who died on the same day after battling with an illness at his residence in Fajara.
“I am giving my condolences on behalf of the entire Gambia,” the Gambian President stated.
The United States Embassy in Banjul also extend their condolence to the Gambia Government, and the Embassy through its social media site and confirmed lowering its flag in respect of the deceased.