The government, however, clarified that that the week-long mourning should not be misconstrued as public holiday or absenteeism from work.
It states that the 7-day mourning entails flying the Gambian flag at half mast, signing of a book of condolence at the Presidency and praying to the Almighty Allah to have mercy on the soul of the former Vice President. All public institutions and schools remain open.
It urges all public and civil servants are to report to their respective duty posts.
Former Vice President Joof died in New Delhi, India early Wednesday morning (12:41 pm Indian time). The body of the late VP will be laid in State at the National Assembly for a State Funeral upon arrival.
Full text of press release reads below:
Banjul, The Gambia — His Excellency President Adama Barrow regrets to announce with profound shock and sadness, the death of his Vice President (VP) Alieu Badara Joof, which sad event occurred in New Delhi, India early this morning (12:41 pm Indian time).
On behalf of the First Family, the Government and people of The Republic of The Gambia, President Barrow expresses his heartfelt condolences to the family of the late VP Joof, the Gambian nation and residents of The Gambia.
Until his appointment as VP on 4th May 2022, VP Joof had served in various capacities including Minister of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology (MOHERST), Permanent Secretary in various ministries across the Government. He had also served as World Bank Director for West and Central Africa for over a decade; a position he would relinquish to take up cabinet appointment in the new political dispensation.
Earlier in his career, Mr. Joof, 66, had trained as a qualified teacher and taught for years at Nusrat High School in Bundung, The Gambia College in Brikama and The Gambia Technical Training Institute (GTTI).
A scholar of profound intellect, late VP Joof took a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Bristol, Master’s Degree in English from University of London and 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.
He was married to Mrs. Fatou Sonko Joof and the family is blessed with several children.
President Barrow, who is profoundly shocked by the death of Mr. Joof, 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.
He 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, service to the nation as school teacher and for everything he did for the consolidation of our newly-found democratic dispensation.
In memory of the late VP Joof, President Barrow has declared a 7-day National Mourning effective today, 18th January, 2023 with all flags flying half Mast.
Upon arrival, the body of the late VP will be laid in State at the National Assembly for a State Funeral. Arrangements related to the funeral will be announced later.
Meanwhile, book of condolences will be opened at the Presidency on Thursday 19th January, 2023.
Ebrima G. Sankareh
The Gambia Government Spokesperson & Presidential Diaspora Adviser