By Aisha Tamba
The Gambia’s political leadership should take a leaf out of the good legacy of the former president Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara in terms of democracy, human rights, and the rule of law, said Dr. Ismaila Ceesay a political scientist.
The country’s first prime minister and President Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara who ruled for over 3 decades died last Tuesday aged 95.
The demise of a man described as the father of the nation sent shock waves throughout the country.
Speaking to The Standard, Dr Ceesay, a senior political science lecturer at the University of the Gambia described Sir Dawda as a patriotic leader who looked at the interest of his people and a champion of peace, democracy, and human rights in the entire African continent.
“I think what this current government should learn from Jawara is about his legacy. The most important thing when you are in government is to focus on your legacy, why you are voted for, what you left behind and how you are going to be judged,” Ceesay said.
He said Jawara has left behind a very clean legacy warranting a befitting state burial and seven days national mourning.
“Would Jammeh get the same befitting burial? Maybe not.”
“Jawara championed democracy and rule of law and that is why we have the African Centre for Democracy and human rights studies in the Gambia that is why the country was known for being tranquil, peaceful and democratic” Ceesay added.
Dr Ceesay said the country’s leadership must also learn from the diplomatic wisdom of Sir Dawda adding that the results of his excellent foreign policies made the country a beacon of hope, peace and an international mediator.
He said despite his deficiencies in the areas of infrastructural development, Sir Dawda led the country to independence at a time when there was scepticism over the country’s ability to survive post independence era.
“Some even called it an empty birth of an improbable nation at a time when the population was only 300. 000. So not only did he lead us to independence, but also ensuring that the country survived as an independent state with one of the finest and most efficient civil services was a great achievement,” Ceesay said.
He expressed deepest condolences to the Jawara family for the loss of an icon, a giant and a great pan African.