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Former Health Minister laid-in-State

Dec 6, 2010, 12:19 PM | Article By: Lamin B. Darboe

Hundreds of mourners led by the Vice-President, Isatou Njie-Saidy, and the Speaker of the National Assembly Hon. Abdoulie Bojang, last Friday gathered at the National Assembly Chambers in Banjul to pay their last respects to Dr Abubacarr Gaye, Minister of Health and Social Welfare.

Described as an illustrious son of The Gambia, Dr Gaye passed away last Thursday evening, and was laid in state for cabinet members, National Assembly Members, members of the legal fraternity, diplomatic and consular corps as well as family members and religious leaders to pay their last respects to the departed soul.

Appointed Minister of Health and Social Welfare in October 2009, Dr Gaye, 59, was reputed to be a highly qualified general practitioner with an in-depth knowledge of tropical medicine.

With more than 30 years experience in West Africa, the late Dr Gaye maintained proven leadership, management and training skills in developing and motivating teams to achieve their objectives.

Speaking at the gathering, Vice-President Njie-Saidy, who deputized for President Yahya Jammeh, described the late Dr Abubacarr Gaye as an illustrious son of The Gambia.

While extending President Jammeh's deepest sorrow to the bereaved family for the death, the Vice-President underscored the initiatives taken by the late Dr Gaye during his time as minister of Health and Social Welfare.

According to her, the late Dr Gaye embarked on a comprehensive conducted tour of health facilities under his purview, during his first month in office with a view to get first hand information on the state of health facilities in the country.

National Assembly Speaker Hon. Abdoulie Bojang described the late Dr Gaye as a 'comrade' in governance.

"As Members of the National Assembly, we are particularly touched by the untimely demise of Dr Abubacarr Gaye for two reasons namely, in parliament and in the conduct of parliamentary sittings. The late Dr Abubacarr Gaye was never found wanting in the execution of his duties as a member of the cabinet," Hon Bojang told the gathering.

According to Hon. Bojang, the deceased will be proudly remembered for being a man of great character, very modest and a gentleman par excellence, noting that the late Dr Gaye will go down in the annals of parliamentary history.

Majority leader Hon. Fabakary Tombong Jatta and Hon Sidia Jatta, member for Wuli West, on behalf of both sides of the Assembly expressed condolences to the bereaved family.

Both members described the late Dr Gaye as a very hardworking, dedicated and committed man, who served his country and humanity with devotion.

"The nation, especially the people of the North Bank Region have lost a generous man, whose position in the country would be difficult to fill," Hon. Sidia Jatta told the gathering.

Mrs Matilda Bouy, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, underscored the numerous transformations brought to the ministry by the late Dr Gaye, noting that the deceased person's dedication and commitment has brought an era of immense transformation to the health sector.

She stated that it has always been the ambition of the late Dr Abubacarr Gaye to attain the Millennium Development Goals in health.

Other speakers included Aja Fatou Lamin Faye, Minister of Basic and Secondary Education, Yusupha Kah, Minister of Trade and Employment, Amir Baba Tarawally of the Ahmadiyaa Muslim Jamaat and family members namely, Imam Tafsir Gaye, Abdourahman Secka and Matarr Jah.

The remains of the late Dr Abubacarr Gaye was finally laid to rest at the Old Jeshwang cemetery.