By Kebba Ansu Manneh
Gambian historian and Director General of National Center for Arts and Culture, Hassoum Ceesay has described the demised of Queen Elizabeth as a sad moment for The Gambia, Commonwealth and the world in general, as he revealed that her first visited to The Gambia was in 1961 before signing the independence instruments for the country in 1965.
Buckingham Palace has issues a statement yesterday confirming her death at the age of 96. UK’s new Prime Minister Liz Truss announced that the Queen’s successor is King Charles III (age 73) who waited that long – and said to be the longest successor-in-waiting in British history – to fulfill his destiny.
“Long live the King” declared Truss outside 10 Downing Street where she moved into just 48 hours before the passing of Queen Elizabeth II. In his reaction, Gambian historian Hassoum Ceesay described the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth as a very sad moment for not only The Gambia and Commonwealth but the world as a whole, revealing that the British Monarch was so closed and attached to Gambian political leaders and has always been given out moral support to the Gambian Presidents both present and past.
According to him, Queen Elizabeth was the British Monarch who signed the Independent Instruments of the country to be free from Colonial rule, noting that her first visit to The Gambia was in 1961 and has knighted many prominent Gambians during her reign. “She was the monarch who signed our Independent Instruments, knighted lots of Gambians including Sir Farimang Singhateh, Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara, and Sir Alieu Jack among others.
“She met former President Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara six times and has also met President Adama Barrow in 2018, at the Buckingham Palace,” Historian Ceesay disclosed. He added: “Gambia is very dear to not only Queen Elizabeth but equally dear to her family that has been manifested by their visits.
Her father George (V) visited The Gambia in 1925, her son and successor King Charles III visited in 1965 and her daughter Princess Anne also visited the Gambia in 1967, so we can see how Gambia is closed to the family of Queen Elizabeth.”
The historian continued that Queen Elizabeth in her life time also given lots of moral support to former President Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara and most recently President Barrow during the 2016, political impasse.
He added that “there is a high hope that King Charles will continue the good works of her mother by giving moral support to the Gambia, the Commonwealth and the world. As a monarch she has received a lot of people, NGOs and many other dignitaries and civil society organizations and has always given that moral support to all.