Gambian leader Adama Barrow has declared three days of national mourning on Wednesday as the country remembers its founder president who passed away on Tuesday.
Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara died on Tuesday afternoon after a brief illness. He was 95. Following his death, Barrow ordered for the lowering of the country’s national flag to half-mast.
This was followed by visit of cabinet ministers to the residence of the former leader. “President Barrow has also declared three days of national mourning, ordered flags to fly at half mast. The Gambian Head of state has kindly requested prayers in all mosques on Friday and all churches on Sunday for the repose of the soul of Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara,” said the Government spokesperson Ebrima Sankareh in a statement on Wednesday.
Jawara is known for his respect for human rights across Africa. He played a leading role in the establishment of African Commission on Human and Peoples Rights and the human rights commission in Commonwealth.
“It is with tremendous suck and sadness that President Barrow an avid admirer of Sir Dawda, received news of his death at his Fajara residence on Tuesday August 27, 2019,” said Sankareh.
“In recognition of Sir Dawda’s invaluable contribution to The Gambia; as founding President and author of our independence, President Adama Barrow has instructed that a full state burial befitting Sir Dawda’s impressive and inspirational legacy be accorded.
Ever since President Jawara’s passing was announced, tributes have been pouring in from across the world and a Book of Condolence has since been opened at the National Assembly Chambers.
On Thursday morning Sir Dawda’s remains will be taken to the King Fahd Mosque in Banjul for the traditional Islamic burial rites.
Thereafter, the remains will be moved to the National Assembly to lie in state. Later that evening, President Barrow will be among a host of dignitaries, Jawara family members and religious leaders that will take part in a state ceremony.
Jawara ruled Gambia from 1965 to 1970 as prime minister and 1970 to 1994 as president. He was toppled by former President Yahya Jammeh who now lives in exile in Equatorial Guinea.