Despite frantic efforts by the Jammeh regime to white wash all his gains, former Gambian President continues to regain his lost glory. At 93, Sir Dawda Jawara is peacefully resting at home. He is not one of those former elderly statesmen soaked in basket full of hopelessness and regrets. Of course, Jawara had realised his government’s mistakes, especially with regard to circumstances that led to the July 22nd military takeover. President Jawara lives to see not only the embarrassing downfall of Yahya Jammeh and his thugs but also the shaming of his (Jawara’s) most trusted political pillars.
Sir Dawda, a humble provincial son, led the Gambia to independence in 1965 and ruled his people with soft hands for three decades before Jammeh and his group of disgruntled rag-tag soldiers unseated him. He lived in exile in the United Kingdom until in early 2000 when he was granted amnesty to return home. Jawara had since lived in the country basking into the peace he had guaranteed to Gambians. Unlike his criminal dictator Yahya Jammeh whose heinous crimes keep haunting him even in Equatorial Guinea, Jawara remains an adorable figure both at home and abroad. Even his enemies today sing his praises for not authorising the torture or murder of a single Gambian. With clean hands, Jawara had entered Africa’s Hall of Fame in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia where President Adama Barrow on Wednesday hanged his portrait. What more does Jawara want when African leaders recognised his efforts towards the founding of the Organisation of African Unity (now African Union) and set ? Only the past African leaders who matter will their portrait hung on the AU walls. Rule out the likes of Yahya Jammeh, Hissene Habre, Idi Amin or Jean-Bédel Bokassa, former dictators of the Gambia, Chad, Uganda and Central African Republic, respectively.
Hats off Papa Jawara! You’re a gift to a country that was dubbed “an Improbable Nation” before it had attained independence in February 1965.