By Lamin Cham
The body of the late vice president Badara Alieu Joof will be laid to rest this afternoon at Banjulinding after a state funeral at the National Assembly this morning.
The body arrived yesterday and was received by the members of the Gambia Armed Forces in the presence of cabinet ministers, the Joof family and members of the public at the Banjul airport.
The body was flown from India where Mr Joof died a week ago, to Dakar, Senegal.
After a request from President Barrow, President Macky Sall of Senegal provided a plane that transported the body on the last leg of its journey to Banjul.
The body was escorted by Mr Joof’s widow, Fatou Sonko, his orderly, the doctor who accompanied him to India and The Gambia High Commissioner in India. From the airport it was taken to the Banjul mortuary.
This morning, soldiers will escort the body to the parliament where it would be laid in state for the family members, dignitaries and members of the public to file past and pay their respects.
President Barrow will lead family members and friends in paying tributes and rendering eulogies before the body is taken to Banjulinding for interment.
Mr Joof was The Gambia’s tenth vice president. After a distinguished career as a civil servant both at home and abroad, he served as minister of higher education for five years before becoming vice president on 4th May 2022.