By Lamin Cham
The Gambia government has now announced that the mourning period for former president Sir Dawda Jawara, who died Tuesday has been extended to a whole week.
Speaking to The Standard yesterday, Government Spokesman Ebrima Sankareh further revealed that upon consultations with the family, government has decided that the late president should be buried at the National Assembly grounds.
”This is in recognition by both President Barrow and the Gambian people that Sir Dawda occupied a great place in the life of the country and therefore deserves to be remembered forever,” Mr Sankareh said.
Sankareh also said President Barrow has instructed for prayers the whole morning today, prior to the beginning of an elaborate state funeral which starts with a procession to the National Assembly from 2PM.
Sir Dawda’s remains would then be laid at the assembly building for the public to walk past it, to be followed by a statement from the speaker Mariam Jack-Denton.
Dr Lamin J Marenah, a family friend of Jawara will give a speech before passing the rostrum to Dawda Jawara Jr. his son, who will give a eulogy for his father.
The next speaker then will be Omar Amadou Jallow, one of his cabinet ministers and devoted disciple.
The National Assembly members will be represented by Sidia Jatta who will give a speech on their behalf.
The Chief Justice, Hassan Jallow who also served as justice minister under Sir Dawda, will the take the floor to be followed by President Adama Barrow who will wrap up the speeches at the funeral.
The crowd will then head to the King Fahad mosque for the last prayers before burial at the National Assembly grounds.
”All this entire programme will be broadcast live on GRTS and on giant screens at various locations in the Greater Banjul Area because only 300 people can comfortably fit in the National Assembly grounds,” Sankareh said.
According to Mr Sankareh, already the National Road Authority has started working on the site of the grave which will be built in to a mausoleum for posterity.