By Makutu Manneh
President Adama Barrow has declared seven days of national mourning effective yesterday 18th January 2023, to honour the passing on of former Vice President Alieu Badara Joof, which sad event occured in New Delhi, in India, after a brief illness, and all flags will be lowered to half-mast in his honour.
Mr Joof was appointed Vice president of the Gambia on 4th May 2022. Prior to his appointment as VP, he was the Minister of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology (MOHERST).
A statement issued by the government spokesperson and head of Diaspora Affairs, Ebrima G Sankareh, stated president Adama Barrow remembers his vice president as “a very serious, level-headed, patriotic, dedicated, competent and honest Gambian who spent his entire lifetime trying to improve the lot of mankind.” The statement further stated that the president prays to the Almighty Allah that VP Joof is rewarded in the hereafter for all his kind deeds; his work in improving the lot of Gambians; his service to the nation as school teacher and for everything he did for the consolidation of “our” newly-found democratic dispensation.
Meanwhile the government informs the public that upon arrival, the Vice president’s body will be lie in State at the National Assembly for a state funeral.
According to the Government statement, the late Vice President Alieu Badara Joof served as World Bank Director for West and Central Africa for over ten years and was permanent secretary at many Ministries in the country. The 66 year old was a qualified teacher, and taught at Nustrat High School, Gambia College and Gambia Technical Training Institute (GTTI).
Described as a scholar of profound intellect, the late VP Joof took a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Bristol; a Master’s Degree in English from the University of London and a Master’s Degree in Developmental Economics from the University of Bath. He had earlier received a Diploma in Human Rights Studies from the University of Saint Edwards Island, Canada.
The late Vice President Alieu Badara Joof was married to Mrs. Fatou Sonko Joof and the family is blessed with several children.
A book of condolences will be opened at the Presidency on Thursday 19th January 2023, for the late Vice President Alieu Badara Joof.