Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji’un

Like hundred of thousand of Gambians and non-Gambian Pan Africanist and pro-democracy and human rights activists worldwide, I received with profound shock the news of the death on Friday morning of Mr. Ablie Jobe, doyen and one of the pioneers of the Gambian pro-democracy struggle in the diaspora. 

He was a committed fighter for democracy, dedicated civil society activist, a courageous and outspoken defender of whatever ideals and principles he believed in and a patriotic citizen in every sense of the word.

Mr. Ablie Jobe was a patriotic pan-Africanist and a Nkrumahist who believed in the political ideology of the thinking and writings of Kwame Nkrumah and who restlessly struggled against injustice and oppression. For most of his adult life, Mr.  Aib Jobe was a democratic human rights activist.

Ever since his exile in the United Kingdom in the aftermath of the unsuccessful 1981  coup by a Marxist revolutionary, Mr. Kukoi Samba Sanyang, against the government of Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara. 

Mr. Ablie Jobe had been fearless and unrelenting in speaking up in promoting the cause of justice and what he perceived as the best interest of the citizens of the Gambia. 

He was active at the forefront in the various Pro-democracy and human rights activists. He led the youth struggles against military dictatorships in the Gambia. 

He was a leading figure against the twenty-two years of kleptocratic rule of Yahya Jammeh between  1994- 2016. 

In the process, he had always been a leader. However, he never succumbed to tyranny or was pressured into submissive and pliant silence.

In the struggle against Yahya Jammeh’s dictatorship and its perpetuation, Mr. Ablie Jobe was never found wanting. He was at the vanguard of the battle, even at the risk of his life and liberty. 

It is impossible to credibly tell the story of the emergence of the democracy we enjoy in this dispensation today without emblazoning Mr. Ablie Jobe’s name in gold. He was a doughty fighter for freedom and the rule of law. 

He was rock solid in his commitment to democracy, human rights, and the rule of law. He served in several other civil society groups in Europe and North America which he played active roles.

Mr. Ablie Jobe never held public office. However, he has been a constant feature and part of our shared consciousness over the last three decades of this unbroken democratic dispensation. 

He epitomised the true definition of the citizen; a patriot who was ever conscious of the fact that his life could not be complete or his humanity meaningful if he did not take an active interest in and join likeminded fellow citizens in seeking always to promote the common good of his community and country.

In the last two and a half decades, Mr. AblieJobe and I had the cause to collaborate in various organizations and pursue different political causes at different times. 

I can testify to his capacity for hard work, his brilliance, his tenacity in his loyalty to his cherished principles. However, even if we differed politically, I had no cause to doubt his sincerity in charting his chosen path. 

He will forever remain a model of what a citizen who places the good of his country above his interest could be. For giving his talents and abilities, Mr. AblieJobe could easily have opted to focus on his welfare and that of his family rather than embroil himself in the several struggles he dedicated his life to.

It is undoubtedly not fortuitous that his family and colleagues like Mr. James Bahoum, Mr. Malick Kah, and others in the United Kingdom, including others, the indefatigable pro-democracy strugglers in Europe and Scandanavia, were Mr.Ablie  Jobe’s comrade in struggle and active collaborators in fighting for justice, liberty, and the dignity of the underprivileged. They were iconic soul mates in the ceaseless battle for a better and greater Gambia. 

I join the multitude of Gambians in condoling with Mr. Ablie Jobe’s family in this sad hour and to all Pro-democracy activists, Pan-Africanists, and democratic activists in Europe and North America. 

May God comfort and strengthen them even as they take solace in the massive outpouring of grief nationwide at Able Jobe’s painful passage.

I also express my heartfelt condolences to the Gambia, other political leaders, and Mr.Ablie Jobe’s civil society members. His life vividly demonstrates once again, in the immortal words of a great philosopher Mr. James Mill that “it is not the life that matters but the courage you bring into it” and that it is not how long we live but how well and productively that matters. Mr. Ablie Jobe is gone. 

Nevertheless, he lives on in the memory of many of his compatriots. May his soul rest in peace. May Allah grant him Alijannah Firdausi. Ameen. 

By Alagi Yorro Jallow

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