Barrow leads tribute for veteran politician OJ
By Sulayman Waan
President Adama Barrow has described late Omar Amadou Jallow as a “patriotic and honest” Gambian, as several Gambians paid their last respect to the former minister of Agriculture cum veteran politician at a sorrowful state funeral held at Pipeline Mosque on Wednesday.
While presenting a Posthumous National Award for the deceased on Wednesday, the President said Mr. Jallow had contributed immensely to national development and will be missed.
He thus prayed that Allah bestows his blessings on late OJ Jallow and reward him with the highest place in paradise and protect his children.
Late Omar Jallow’s funeral attracted hundreds of Gambians from all walks of life.
The veteran politician died on Sunday 14 May 2023 and was laid to rest on 17 May at the Serekunda Cemetery.
Omar Amadou Jallow, born in 1946, was the Minister of Agriculture in President Adama Borrow’s first term. He also handled the same position under former President Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara for many years.
Jallow was also the leader of the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) during the APRC government following a coup d’état 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 Adama Barrow’s inauguration in February 2017, Jallow told Reuters “Today, I have been vindicated.”
Kebba Jallow, the current leader of OJ’s 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 spent the whole of his life serving humanity.”
According to Kebba, the PPP has learned sharing, caring and love from the late OJ Jallow.
He advised all to emulate OJ Jallow, justifying that despite having a different political ideology with National Convention Party (NCP), OJ had 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 patriotic citizen who suffered a lot for The Gambia.
“He loved 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 faced the consequences,” he said.
“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.