EYEAFRICA TV: Banjul, The Gambia: Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara, Gambian first President and Prime Minister have been laid to rest Thursday evening at the country’s National Assembly grounds in the capital, Banjul.
He was accorded a 21 gun salute by The Gambia Armed Forces during a laying in State at the Assembly building, where Gambians and the international community paid their last respects to him.
President Adama Barrow said the former elder statesman should be comforted because he led the country with dignified life, praying for Allah to bless his soul and guide his family to have the strength to bear the grief.
His son, Dawda Jawara Jnr praised his father for what he called his ‘selfless’ sacrifice for the emancipation of Gambian people at all time, saying, “As a son and family, our father had taught us that there is no shortcut in life.”
Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara died on Tuesday at his home in Fajara, in the country’s coastal town of Bakau, at age 95. He was accorded a state funeral on Thursday, before being laid to rest at the Assembly grounds.
One of his most trusted ministers during his rule Omar Jallow –OJ- praised him for the leading role he played in the country’s emancipation from colonialism, calling him a man of absolute character and peace.
Many Gambians have contested the decision to bury the former head of state at the National Assembly, with some saying his place of burial maybe idolised. Some said he will be remembered for his love for humanity and democratic teachings, as a peaceful man who respected the rule of law.
He had led The Gambia as Prime Minister and later as president from independence in 1965 to July 1994, when he was ousted by then young soldiers led by army captain Yahya Jammeh.
He was accorded a Muslim burial ritual at King Fahad Mosque in the capital, Banjul, where final prayers were offered to him for his soul to rest in peace.