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Friday, March 5, 2021

Would Yahya Jammeh have given Sir Dawda Jawara a befitting state funeral?

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By Dr. Alieu Faal

Under President Adama Barrow, Sir Dawda Jawara was given full state burial befitting his status as the founding father of our nation.

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Yahya Jammeh who once said that Gambia belongs to him, would have done otherwise!
By declaring state burial for Sir Dawda, the founding father of our nation, President Barrow is indeed a true statesman.

Barrow’s magnanimity and classic show of statesmanship was also in display when he facilitated the repatriation of Yahya Jammeh’s late mum following requests made by the family of Aja Asombi Bojang in August last year.

The President did not only accede to their request but he even extended his condolences to Ex-President Jammeh personally.

For those of us who had lived through the ordeals of authoritarianism, we are indeed delightful today that the death of Sir Dawda Jawara occurred during the era of Adama Barrow and not under dictator Yahya Jammeh who tried everything possible to eradicate the legacies of Sir Dawda whose distinguished service to the nation outlived dictatorship and despotism.

His work in the areas of human rights, rule of law and respect for the sovereignty of the people did outdo the numerous attempts by Jammeh to eviscerate the good things the father of this nation had done for all Gambians regardless of tribe, creed, religion or political affiliations.

All the loud praises, fitting tributes and sad eulogies that came from his son, former colleagues, religious leaders and other eminent personalities would never have seen the light of day let alone being broadcast live on national and other private media networks for the whole world to see, if his passing occurred during Jammeh’s era.

Thank God for that!
Sir Dawda died on 27th August 2019, Ethiopian Haile Salassie was strangled to death on 27 August 1975 at age 83 following a coup d’état.

It is therefore remarkable that after 34 years of the death of another African icon, one of the pioneers of African unity, it takes the magnanimity of our 54-year old President to accord a befitting full state burial to Sir Dawda Jawara.

Thank you President Barrow.

Yahya Jammeh would never have allowed Sir Dawda’s legacy be celebrated in such dignity and manner.

May Allah the Almighty grant Sir Dawda Jawara peace and tranquility in Jannah!

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