Wednesday, June 7

President Barrow confers Posthumous National Award on late Hon OJ Jallow as Gambians mourn him –

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By: Ismail Manjang

 Several Gambians on Wednesday mourned former Minister of Agriculture, a veteran politician, the late Hon Omar A. Jallow at his sorrowing state funeral held at Pipeline Mosque.

The somber funeral brought together hundreds of Gambians from all works of life including the President of the Republic of The Gambia, politicians, family members, relatives, the private sector, activists, and media personnel among others. 

The veteran politician died on Sunday 14th May and was laid to rest yesterday at the Serekunda Cemetery.  

Hon Omar Amadou Jallow was born in 1946 was the Minister of Agriculture in President Adama Borrow’s first term in office. He also handled the same position under former President Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara’s government. 

Jallow was also the leader of the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) during the APRC government following a coup d’etat headed by former President Yahya Jammeh in 1994.

 Throughout Jammeh’s time in power, Jallow was arrested on 22 separate occasions. He was tortured on four occasions. On the day of President Adama Barrow’s inauguration in February 2017, Late Jallow told Reuters that “Today, I have been vindicated.”

Presenting a posthumous National Award for the decease, President Barrow described the late Omar Jallow as patriotic and honest Gambian. He said Mr. Jallow has contributed immensely to national development and will be missed.

However, President Barrow prayed that Allah bestows his blessings on late OJ Jallow and reward him with the highest place in paradise as well as protect his children.

Kebba Jallow, the current leader of PPP said: “Omar Jallow was a very careful, law-abiding person. He always advised us to abide by the National Constitutions and Constitution of our political party. OJ was a good man and he spend the whole of his life in serving humanity.”

Speaking further, he said the PPP has learned modesty, sharing, love, and caring from the late OJ Jallow. 

However, he advised all to emulate OJ Jallow, justifying that despite having a different political ideology with National Convention Party (NCP) OJ was having a cordial relationship with its leader as they used to associate and chat.

“Let’s follow his legacy and help one another and be united as he used to do,” he said.

Dr. Ismaila Ceesay, leader and secretary general of Citizen Alliance (CA) described OJ Jallow as a people person and patriotic citizen who suffered a lot for The Gambia.

 “He loves this country and suffered a lot for the country. At the time when most politicians went to exile he stayed and faced the dictatorship and then face the consequences,” he said.

The political scientist further said there is a need for every young Gambian to emulate OJ Jallow. He said OJ was a perfect politician, justifying that he never heard any person saying anything negative about him.

“OJ Jallow has done extremely well for the society which is in line with Gambian values and African values. So, I think every young Gambian whether you are a politician or not, you should emulate OJ Jallow and you should be able to use his life as a book that you can learn from,” he said.

More so, the veteran politician has contributed immensely to national development and then there is a need for Gambian young politicians to continue from where OJ Jallow, Sir Dawda Jawara, and others stopped to build the nation.