Wednesday, November 2, 2011

‘Woi Na Baba Tata’ – Our Baba is Gone

Baba Jobe buried at his home village
Men beat their chests, stifle their tears, and shook their heads in agony. Women carried their hands on their heads, typically sobbed and wailed.
Young and old defied the burning sun. And tightly scheduled men and women in their smart Western  suites  apparently sacrificed works on their desk.
Banjul, The Gambia’s capital city was the scene of this charged atmosphere as relatives and sympathisers restlessly waited to receive lifeless former APRC strongman, late Baba Jobe, from hospital authorities who were taking a donkey years to release a dead body that has been in their custody for the past three days.
Baba Kajali Jobe, 52, a former leader of ruling APRC parliamentarians passed away since last weekend after spending almost a week admitted at RVTH. He had collapsed a week earlier under unclear circumstances at Mile Two, the country’s central prison at the outskirts of the capital, Banjul where he was condemned to nine year eight month jail term since April 2004 for economic crimes – fraud, tax evasion, among others – depriving The Gambia millions of dalasi.
Anticipating to receive Baba’s body from the hospital authorities for burial at his home village, relatives and other sympathisers of the late APRC strongman started flooding into Banjul early Monday morning. However, his corpse was not released till around 1pm and he was laid to rest at around 5:30 pm, but not without some uncontrollable scenes.  
The arrival of Baba Jobe’s body in his village was greeted with an irrepressible atmosphere. It took almost 30 minutes before his corpse was off loaded from the ambulance. Everyone wants to have a last look of the man that used to represent their hope for a better living condition. “Woi yo woi! Na Baba Jobe ta ta,” the mourners wailed.
Meanwhile, sources at the country’s main referral hospital, the Royal Victoria Teaching Hospital (RVTH) confirmed to this paper that a post mortem was conducted, but fell short to give further details.
“He died of a natural death,” our source said, rejecting rumoured allegations of foul play. Family sources however said, no postmortem was conducted and the cause of the death of Baba Jobe still remains unclear to this paper.
Alongside relatives and sympathisers, present at the mortuary were some opposition political leaders, religious leaders and some of Baba’s former colleagues at the parliament.

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