By Ramatoulie Jawo
Honorable Alhagie Mbow, the National Assembly Member for Upper Saloum said the late Gambian Vice President Badara Alieu Joof stood up for truth and justice.
“His Excellency the late Vice President, stood up for truth and justice. He was candid to a fault, in that he spoke his mind and was not the political figure who minced his words. He spoke his heart out on all issues and then moved on. Frankness and truth-telling are other rarities in politics. While most people in the political field say things for the sake of the soundbite, he spoke to send the message of unity and accountability,” Hon. said.
Hon. Mbowe said that sort of candidness earned the Vice President plaudits as much as it gave ammo to his few detractors.
He added that nonetheless, the late Badara gained the respect of all who dealt with him on any issue that needed his blessing.
“Many people, in their tribute in the past few days have concentrated on various aspects of his successes as a teacher, civil servant, technocrat, and latterly political leader. Their tributes have touched on his honesty, fidelity, and hard work. I will take this a bit further by stating that Honourable Joof was a man of rare courage also. His courage lay in his ability to distinguish partisan politics from national interest.
“In an increasingly divided political field, where the lines between what is good for politics and what is good for the country are increasingly been blurred, his eagerness to uphold the interest of The Gambia was palpable. He put country ahead of politics,” he said.
Hon. Mbow said during the late Badara’s first statement to the Public and Civil Service last June, a few days after his appointment as Vice President, he stirred the conscience of the nation with his candid speech on delivery, results, and accountability in Government.
“He reminded the entire Cabinet and senior government officials present at the Retreat, and the public at large, that we needed to revisit attitudes to work. He told the leaders of this country that people’s expectations were so high that new energy was needed from all present to ensure that the Government delivered on its mandate. He did not draw the line between delivery and accountability. He clearly stated that delivery should go along with accounting for each Butut of public monies,” Hon. Mbow said.
Hon. Mbow further described the late Gambian Vice President’s legacy as “rich and incontrovertible.”
“At the same time, we can take comfort in the fact that his legacy is rich and incontrovertible. His legacy is country first. His legacy is accountability. His legacy is modesty His legacy is truth-telling and claiming no easy victories. This is indeed a rare and enviable legacy for a man who lived only 65 years,” He described.
The Gambian Vice President passed away on Wednesday in India after a brief illness and was laid to rest on Monday at the Banjulinding Cemetery after the State Funeral