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Celebrating Sir Dawda’s centenary

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In a few days, it will be 16 May marking one hundred years since the first president of the Republic of The Gambia, Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara, was born. This is a day worth celebrating to remember the great feats achieved by this great statesman.

Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara’s life is worth remembering for several reasons. One area in which he has done extremely well, and therefore worth remembering and emulating, is human rights. Many have described him as a humanist. He was someone who had utmost respect for the dignity of the human being.

His work and achievement in this area is not only recognised and celebrated here in The Gambia but also internationally. It is worthy of note that the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights was one area in which he did great work. Thus the Charter is referred to as the Banjul Charter. This is testament to his great work.

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Sir Dawda was also a champion of environment. He worked, wrote and spoke about the preservation of the flora and fauna. This was important to him and therefore his government also did great work in that front. This must not be forgotten by this, or the coming generations.

But perhaps the most important thing to commemorate about him was his courage and great efforts to preserve the territorial integrity of The Gambia. At birth, this country was feared to be on the verge of becoming a failed state. It is referred to as the ‘improbable nation’. Sir Dawda courageously led it out of the woods, as it were.

As the family of the late Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara celebrates one hundred years since his birth, every Gambian should join them in remembering him and celebrating his legacy.

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