By Omar Bah
United Democratic Party leader shed tears as he addressed a funeral crowd in Salikenni, which gathered to bury his long-term political ally, Lamin Ndambu Dibba. Lamin Dibba first came into prominence in politics in 2001 when he won the Central Baddibu by-election after the death of Abou Kemba Kassama in a car crash.
Lamin died on 14 November 2020 and was a Minister of Agriculture in Adama Barrow’s cabinet from 9 July 2018 to 15 March 2019. He previously served as Minister of Lands and Regional Government from 2017 to 2018.
In a eulogy, the UDP leader, Ousainu Darboe, wept for the fallen former minister and political icon.
“I am asking all of you to pray for me because I am lonely … please find someone who will keep me company. Dibba was someone who was always there for me – whenever I tried to do something that is not right, he would be there to direct me,” a deeply emotional Darboe told the crowd, amid assurances from the audience who asked him to keep faith.
Darboe added: “My biggest disappointment is that Lamin will not witness the big day we were all waiting for. But we promise to continue down Dibba’s path as firmly as before with the help of God.”
He said the late Dibba has done a tremendous selfless sacrifice for Gambian politics and a great Muslim who was truthful. “One more important thing I liked about him is that he was not a betrayer and whatever you agreed with him, he would not disappoint you. If he was a betrayer, he would not have left the government when we were dismissed together,” he said.
The UDP leader further recounted an important incident about the late Dibba: “I remember when we were arrested and thrown into the truck and blood was oozing all over us. Dibba was bleeding more than us and most of us were worried but Dibba remained strong and said to us ‘all this will end one day’.”
“Dibba also refused to be a political baggage and served the country with trust and I want to urge all politicians to follow Dibba’s footsteps,” Darboe said. He concluded by extending condolences to all Gambians who knew Lamin Dibba among them President Barrow.
The secretary general of PDOIS, Halifa Sallah also joined the UDP and ordinary Gambians in welcoming the corpse at the airport, as well as extending condolences to the family and friends of the late Lamin Dibba.