EYEAFRICA TV: Banjul, The Gambia: Former Gambian president, Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara’s remains have been prepared for final resting Thursday, in the capital, Banjul.
Muslim leader gather at the King Fahd Mosque in Banjul for the religious obligations (recitation of the Glorious Qur’an and funeral sermons) before thousands of mourners.
The cabinet is represented by ministers of Local Government, Lands and Religious Affairs; Tourism and Fisheries, with also Jawara’s People Progressive Party executive in attendance.
Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara died on Tuesday, at age 95. He is remembered for his proactive leadership role in the People’s Progressive Party for some forty years, and led The Gambia to independence in 1965. He served the small West African country as principal veterinary officer, minister of education, prime minister, and president.
Imam Ratib of Banjul, Cherno Alieu Mass Kah described the late former president as a religious man who deserve prayers and best wishes for eternal rest in paradise. He reminded the congregation of the need to be dutiful to Almighty God, noting that, “every soul must taste death” and shall be returned.
In his autobiography, ‘Kairaba,’ a book he launched in 2010, Jawara bares heart on the struggle for independence, the establishment of the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights in The Gambia, the 1981 abortive coup, the Senegambia Confederation, the 1994 coup and life in exile in the United Kingdom.
During Eye Africa TV live coverage of the funeral services, a handful of panelists described the former Gambian President as ‘a firm Senegambian’ who was able to cultivate cordial relationship between him and the Senegalese leadership throughout his presidential tenure.
According to the funeral itinerary, Jawara, who hailed from Barra Jally in the Central River Region, will be laid in state at the National Assembly Building this evening.
President Adama Barrow is expected to preside over the state funeral. His government has extended an earlier declared three-day national mourning to now seven days.