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Thursday, October 21, 2021

BUBA BALDEH DIES IN DAKAR

Baldeh was a former MP from Basse who went on to become the first minister of Youth and Sports in The Gambia in Jawara’s regime. He was made national mobiliser in the APRC in the Second Republic, fell out of grace and went into self-imposed exile in Dakar where he became a leading lieutenant in the anti-Jammeh brigade.

Speaking to The Standard newspaper yesterday, his younger sister Binta Baldeh said: “We are very sad today by the death of Buba. We got news of his death today in Dakar and we are working on the burial arrangements. I am not saying this because he is my brother, but Buba Baldeh was a very good person who has served this country and humanity to the best of his ability. He was a family-oriented man who loved his people.

“Our father died when I was very young and he became both a brother and a father to me up till his death. He is survived by two wives and seven kids to whom he has given great love and support as a father. My sense of sadness at his passing away is so huge that I cannot say much. This is a big loss to me and the entire family. We pray that his soul rests in peace”.

Another relative, Ousman Baldeh, said the news was broken to them through a telephone call from Buba’s wife in Dakar yesterday. “We are doing our best here as a family to make arrangements for his burial. I cannot confirm yet whether he will be buried in The Gambia or Senegal. He had not been sick for a long time,” he said.

The scion of the Baldeh political dynasty led a chequered life. He first came to prominence as national coordinator of the Freedom From Hunger Campaign. He entered politics and won the Basse constituency in 1982 as an independent candidate. In December 1985, he was removed from parliament and his seat was taken by Omar Sey. He made a comeback in the 1987 general elections winning the nearby Jimara constituency on a ruling PPP ticket and returned in the April 1992 general elections. The following month he was appointed the country’s first youth and sports minister where he served until the change of government in July 1994.  He later joined the Jammeh government serving as APRC national mobiliser and also made managing director of Daily Observer until November 2002. He resettled in Senegal in 2006.

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