The Gambia’s first president,Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara, has been laid to rest at the National Assembly Complex in Banjul after a State Funeral.

President Adama Barrow and dozens of other government officials, foreign dignitaries and family and friends of the late president paid glowing tributes to him.

Sir Dawda Jawara died on Tuesday aged 95.

The Veterinary-turned-politician ruled the Gambia as president for 30 years.

He served as the country’s first prime minister from Independence in 1965 to 1970 when the country became a Republic.

Paying his tribute to the Sir Dawda, President Adama Barrow said: “He was a true Democrat, pan Africanist and humanist.”

He said the late president was indeed the true father of the nation, adding that he was a pioneering member of the Organization for African Union – now African Union.

“In view of his achievements Sir Dawda deserved nothing less than a befitting burial, he deserved nothing less than a State Funeral,” he added.

Omar Amadou Jallow, a one time minister in the Jawara regime, praised the late president for sacrificing his life for the Independence of the country.

“He doesn’t tolerate tribalism, he doesn’t tolerate religious differences,” he said.

“You have gone physically but spiritually and mentally you are in us forever and we will make sure you live in us,” he added.

OJ said the late president was humble and opened to everyone, adding that his regime “encompassed everyone”.

“Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara led us to Independence on 18 February 1965 and he was symbol of good for the continent,” speaker of the National Assembly Mariam Jack Denton said in tears.

She said the former president Jawara proved all critics wrong by guiding the country to democracy.
Other speakers included Sidia Jatta , Justice Hassan Jallow and Dr Lamin Marenah.

Crowds lined the route as the late president’s body was taken to and from the King Fahd Mosque to the National Assembly Complex.

His wooden coffin was covered in the colours of the national flag.

Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara was buried with full military honours after a 21 gun salute by The Gambia Armed Forces.

Reporting by Adama Makasuba

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