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Monday, July 22, 2024

Eulogy for Phoday Jarjussey (PBS); an iconic civilservant and selfless personality, pacesetter

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By Ambassador Abdoulie M Touray (Baax)
SaHel Invest Management International (SIMI)
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Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji’un “surely from Allah we came and to Allah we shall return“. The telephone rang and Mrs Oumie Jarjussey said my brother- Phoday has just come out of the surgery room and wants to talk to you. A solemn but inaudible voice quietly said Mr Chief Executive as his customary greeting and I as usual respond by saying Mr PBS – how are you, he said Alhamdulilah (Praise be to Allah) – I kept talking to lift his spirits and for the duration of the conversation , he kept repeating these words “La ilaha illallah” all the time,which means “there’s no God but God”. . Only to receive the news few hours later by text from his dear nephew, Hon Ebrima Sillah “Deeply saddened to inform you that Uncle Phoday has passed on , his wish was to bury him in Sukuta next to his mother “. One can imagine how I felt receiving the news of the inevitability of life and living- best said in the Holy Quran “ Surely from Allah, we came and to Allah we shall return “. I hasten to add One by One as I often say in my Facebook posting that life is a JOURNEY and not a DESTINATION. As we mourn with heavy hearts the passing of PBS , let us remember and honour the life of Mr. Phoday Jarjussey. As we come together in this moment of sorrow, let us as well also celebrate the remarkable life and enduring legacy of a beloved friend, colleague, and mentor to many exceptional Gambians. The eulogies already written by some of his closest relatives and colleagues including Dr Kalilou Bayo, Ambassador Ebou Ndure, Ambassador Hassan Gibril, Honourable Adama Deen, Dr Seedy Jammeh, Mr Bamba Mass and several others, I may not be aware of, exemplify the life and times of our PBS. Sister Aja Juka Fatou Jabang , Brother Sola Mahoney, Mr Odou Njie ,Honourable Sidi Sanneh and our mentors Honourable Abdou Sara Janha, Alhaji Pa Cham ( Ports) can attest to the fact that, no conversation is complete without talking about the sterling qualities of our PBS. Phoday was a man of extraordinary character and dedication. His journey from The Gambia to the United Kingdom is a testament to his unyielding commitment to service and community. In his role as a Councillor in the United Kingdom, Phoday demonstrated an unwavering dedication to public service. His work was marked by a profound sense of justice, fairness, and an unshakeable belief in the potential of every individual. He was a beacon of integrity, always advocating for those who needed a voice and striving to make the world a better place. Phoday’s contributions extended beyond his official duties. He was a civil servant of The Gambia, where his efforts had a significant and lasting impact. His passion for development and progress was evident in every initiative he undertook. He worked tirelessly to improve the lives of those around him, embodying the true spirit of a public servant. To those who had the privilege of knowing him personally, Phoday was more than just a colleague; he was a friend. His warmth, generosity, and genuine care for others created an atmosphere of camaraderie and mutual respect. He had an innate ability to bring people together, fostering a sense of unity and shared purpose. His laughter and kindness were constants in our lives, and his absence leaves a void that cannot be filled. Phoday’s legacy is one of perseverance, compassion, and unwavering dedication to the betterment of society. He has left an indelible mark on all of us, and his memory will continue to inspire future generations to pursue justice, equity, and service. As we mourn his loss, let us also remember the incredible light he brought into our lives and the countless ways he made the world a better place. To his family, we extend our deepest sympathies. May you find solace in the knowledge that Phoday’s life was one of profound impact and lasting significance. His spirit will continue to live on in the hearts of all who knew him. Let me take the opportunity to just add one of several messages from PBS that speaks volumes to all Gambians as follows:- “Meanwhile, I’ve received your mail and attachments and have managed to browse quickly through the same. All I can say initially is that I’m impressed and really honoured; albeit flattered to have what is essentially a ” magnum opus ” dedicated to me. Whether I deserve such an honour shall remain a mute point with me for the time being! However, having known and worked with you for so many years on policy formulation and implementation across the board for so many years, I can only say how compelling I find it to respect and accept your judgement. And talking of inspiration, you have been a reservoir of it during our generation and beyond in The Gambia and elsewhere.. The challenge for us now in the New Gambia is to rejuvenate; rekindle and sustain a fresh approach towards formulating new policies and programmes for national development. To do so, we must have a proper trained, dedicated and disciplined civil service. Let me add that in all my experience, I have never seen or heard of a successful government without a proper machinery and engine room to drive the administration . So, plenty of work to do but I cannot end without saying how mentally and intellectually uplifting this new challenge would be for me.” Phoday Ba Saikouba Jarjussey . Rest in peace, my dear friend – PBS . Your legacy will forever be remembered, and your contributions will continue to inspire us all. We extend our sincere condolences to his lifelong partner and Darling Queen- Mrs Oumie and the apple of his Fanta , to the family and friends around the world. Rest In Peace (RIP) – Rest in Power (RIP).

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