The vice chancellor of the UTG, Professor Muhamadou Kah said: “Dr Saja Taal’s death is a big loss to The Gambia. Up till his illness he had always been coming to the university to deliver his services to the nation. He is a person who has positively affected many lives. We are working with the family in making arrangements to pay our last respects to him. He will always be remembered for his contributions to the UTG and The Gambia at large. He has contributed a lot to the development of UTG and we will always remember him for that”.
Essa Touray, a senior history lecturer at the university, recalled: “Saja Taal’s contribution to The Gambia’s intellectual discourse since 1990s has been the foundation and encouragement for many young people to pursue careers and research. I was invited as a guest lecturer at public lectures he organised which inspired me a lot to embark on academic research. To get a person of Saja Taal’s intellect and deep understanding of issues is not easy.
“Saja Taal has contributed to the enrolment of many people in the university from poor backgrounds who would not have made it without his support. When he served as secretary general for APRC and permanent secretary he always tried his best to help students from poor backgrounds to get scholarships. He was indeed a man of the poor. He was not pompous. He was a very humble man who could have a dialogue with everybody regardless of social background or class. His death is a big loss not only for The Gambia but Africa as a whole”.
The president of the UTG debate association, Mustapha Kah, said Dr Taal positively impacted the lives of thousands of young Gambians.
Apparently in a state of loss for words and between sobs and tears, Fatou Taal, a niece to Saja Taal based in the UK said: “It is a great loss for the family and the whole of The Gambia indeed. We are thanking everyone who sent messages and phone calls. We are also thanking UTG for all the support. He had a lot to give and we will carry the torch for him. He will be missed dearly…a sad day for us.”
Meanwhile, family sources told The Standard that his body will arrive in Banjul at 5pm today and interment will take place tomorrow.
Alieu Badara Saja Taal is survived by a wife, Yatou Cham, three daughters – Sainabou Taal, Oley Saja Taal and Ndey Anta Taal, a son Momarr Taal and one grandson Yusupha Taal.
By Sainey Darboe]]>