Sunday, February 5

‘Nation bids farewell to its hero’

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He was finally laid to rest after religious rites at the mosque where speaker after speaker spoke about his sacrifice.

The coffin carrying Mr. Sandeng’s remains was lifted from the mosque ground on the shoulders of the police through to the Dippa Kunda cemetery for his final interment nearly seven years after he was killed.

The burial was a spectacle of grief as it was characterised with multiple gun shots by the Gambia Police Force with melodious sounds in tandem.     

In April 2016, Solo Sandeng led a peaceful protest for electoral reforms and was arrested but died in detention shortly after his arrest by agents of the defunct National Intelligence Agency (NIA).

His remains were exhumed in March 2017. Saikou Omar Jeng, the director of Operations at the NIA led the police to Solo’s grave at Tanji village in the West Coast Region.

Solo’s cousin Alagie Mustapha Darboe described him as a man of courage, recalling the moment he had bailed Solo from police custody. According to him, he advised Solo on that fateful day. “Solo, take things easy.” He told Solo. “This is a national issue and not yours.”

“Please don’t advise me. I will fight to the end and this is a point of no return,” Solo responded.

“In the pursuit of his beliefs Solo was determined, humble, disciplined and focused. He was courageous and resourceful,” Ousainu Darboe, the leader of UDP said at the State Funeral.

“He believed in his cause so much so that he tried to convert NIA officers to his persuasion whilst in a previous detention at their office in Banjul.”