By Omar Bah
Pa Modou Faal and Musa Ndow (all journalists), working as communication officers at the Ministry of Health, have been confirmed dead in a fatal car crash on Sunday.
One Kawsu Bayo, a Ministry of Health official, died too. The three officials were on their way from Soma to Banjul.
Faal was a senior executive member of the Gambia Press Union, who later joined the Ministry of Health with Musa Ndow as press and communications officer.
According to sources from the Ministry of Health, they were coming from a four-day health education mission in Soma, Lower River Region. The driver and another communications officer Salifu Touray survived the fatal accident, suffering minor injuries.
Mr Faal was laid to rest at his residence in Lamin while Mr Ndow will be laid to rest today.
Reacting to the tragic news, the GPU president Muhammed MS Bah, said: “This is devastating news to hear the demise of our two colleagues and brothers. Pa Modou served the GPU in several boards. I pray to Allah to grant them Jannah.”
Former Minister of Information, Demba Ali Jawo wrote: “I am particularly devastated by Pa Modou’s death who was very close to me. He had a lot of respect for me and he consulted with me about anything he was embarking on. May their gentle souls rest in perfect peace”.
Madi Jobarteh also wrote on Facebook: “I have known Pa Modou for the past 20 years as a journalist, friend and brother. For the past two decades, Pa Modou gave me utmost regard and respect. He only called me ‘Koto’. I cannot remember Pa Modou calling me by name. This man was the embodiment of respect, humility and kindness.”
Sanna Camara, a journalist who worked with Pa Modou Faal at the defunct Independent Newspaper, wrote: “Koto (as we all fondly called him) provided his shoulder as comfort to so many of us who faced troubles in the media to cry on. He was a good listener and true professional who loved this profession with everything he had.
“I came to know Musa Ndow in late 2009 when we began undergoing two-year Professional Reporters Program at the GPU. Although we did not work together in the same paper, I found him to be a respectful young man who was driven to learn and practice the trade in the best way possible.”