Justice Minister says Solo Sandeng was catalyst to Gambian democracy

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By Alagie Manneh

The Minister of Justice, Dawda Jallow, has described the late UDP youth leader Solo Sandeng as the catalyst to Gambian democracy.

Speaking at the martyr’s state funeral service Tuesday, Mr Jallow said the large number of people who showed up to pay their final respects is a manifestation of Solo’s love for the motherland.

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“In whatever role we knew him, from whatever vantage point, he stood apart as someone special,” Mr Jallow acclaimed. “Solo was a catalyst to our newfound democracy. He inspired the masses to expressly desire and vote for change and freedom. Solo’s legacy has inspired us in our current security sector reforms and the transitional justice process as a whole.”

Jallow said the government is committed to ensure that the fate of Solo doesn’t befall any other Gambian.

“Solo is remembered as a jovial, caring, and kind supporting individual by his family, he is remembered for his tolerance and commitment towards democratic ideals. Although we lost him to an appalling atrocity meted out on him, we wish to remember him as somebody who fought for his country, and we remember him for his braveness, determination, and patriotism,” he said.

Mr Jallow said the government is committed to safeguarding the legacy of Solo Sandeng.

“We can only strive to do better and continue to strengthen the work done towards achieving a system that is built on the foundation of rule of law, democracy, strong institutions, good governance, and justice. It is indeed heart-warming for Solo Sandeng’s family, and the country that we have attained justice for him.

“We wish to reiterate that his legacy will continue to live on in the history of our democratic transition as a nation. Solo will be missed by many, but will never be forgotten in our hearts.”