By Makutu Manneh
In recognition of his efforts and his patriotic services for his country, President Adama Barrow has posthumously awarded his former Vice President Alieu Badara Joof, with the insignia of Member of the Grand Commander of the Order of The Republic of The Gambia (GCRG). The president made this award yesterday Monday 23rd January 2023, as he paid his last respect to the late Vice President at the National Assembly, where the body of the former Vice President was laid in state.
“The Gambia has certainly lost an illustrious son, a national asset and a pillar in cabinet who contributed constructively to cabinet proceedings. A gigantic tree has fallen and many birds will now find elsewhere to rest,” President Barrow said. He said the late VP was someone dependable and a person who generously shares his knowledge, experience and expertise and devoted all his life to servicee his country. The president said his VP always said he enjoys telling the truth as he believes that telling the truth was the right thing to do and the best way to put things together. He said his Vice President has said in one of his speeches that he did not mind losing his job for telling the truth.
Fabakary Tombong Jatta, the Speaker of the National Assembly said late VP Joof was a Vice President who has respect for parliament because he always responds to their calls. That under his leadership Cabinet Ministers were always present and punctual in their dealings with the assembly. He added that the late VP was one of those public servants who proved that service to one’s country is all about the people.
“He is a man of deep civility, quite thoughtfulness and sound judgment. He has confidently left the venture of honesty, decency, humility and steadfastness,” he said.
Dawda Jallow, Attorney General and Minister of Justice, speaking on behalf of the cabinet, said they will miss VP Joof’s beneficial and meaningful contribution to cabinet proceedings.
“We have benefited tremendously from his wisdom and counsel and his wonderful personality. His eloquence characterised by metaphors and quotations will certainly be missed,” he emotionally said in tears. He said the late VP was indeed a literal giant who loves the quest for knowledge.
“Here lies a man in state who believes in the state, who served the state and who died in the service of the state,” he said.
Adama Joof, daughter of the late VP remembered his father as an exemplary leader, saying she does not grieve much when she looks forward.
Alpha Khan, a family member remembers late VP Joof as a loyal and faithful person not only to his family but to everybody in his life. He said the late Joof was someone that they can always count on.
“His life work was not about him, it was about service to the nation,” he said.
Vice President Alieu Badara Joof was peacefully laid to rest at the Banjulunding cemetery next to his mother’s grave.