Thousands of Gambians yesterday paid their last respects to the former speaker of the National Assembly, Alhaji Mustapha B. Wadda, who was laid to rest at the Bakau Cemetery.
The former speaker, aged 79, passed away last Sunday, and upon receiving the news of his death thousands of Gambians thronged at his home in Cape Point.
The late Mr Wadda was the First Speaker of the National Assembly in the Second Repbulic.
Speaking to worshippers gathered at the Bakau Central Mosque, the Chairman of Banjul Muslim Elders, Alhaji A.A. Faal, said the demise of the late Mustapha Wadda is a great loss to the nation, noting that he had dedicated all his life working for his country.
The late speaker, he added, has contributed significantly towards the socio-economic development of the country, and prayed for the departed soul to rest in perfect peace.
Alhaji Sainey Cham, a family member of late Mr. Wadda, described him as a quiet and kind gentleman who lived a dignified life.
Mr. Cham stated that the late Mr. Wadda was a truthful and righteous man who had served his country well, before he retired as a civil-servant.
He pointed out that the late speaker served in various capacities in the civil service, notably as chairman of boards of directors, the public service commission, as an ambassador, as secretary-general and head of the civil service and as speaker of the National Assembly.
Imam Omar Jammeh of Bakau Central Mosque said the late Mr. Wadda had a good relationship with the people of Bakau, and because of his dedication to the Islamic religion, he became a member of the Mosque Committee of Bakau, further noting that he was a down to earth person.
Hon. Sulayman Joof, National Assembly Member for Serrekunda West, speaking on behalf of the National Assembly delegation at the funeral, said they have worked with the late Mr. Wadda for five years, adding that he was dedicated to his work and members learned a lot from him during his time as speaker of the house.
Other speakers at the gathering were the former National Assembly Member for Upper Saloum, Hamat Bah, veteran journalist Ba Tarawally, the fomer National Assembly Member for Bakau, Dembo Bojang, and the Alkalo of Bakau Alhaji Luntanding Jaiteh.