By Lamin Jahateh
The Gambia government has urged Muslims and Christians in the country to use Friday, 8 March and Sunday, 10 March to pray at Mosques and Churches respectively for the late President of Venezuela who passed away on Tuesday evening after a protracted illness at the age of 58.
In a news release from the Statehouse in Banjul on Wednesday evening, aired over the state television, GRTS, The Gambia government said it received with deep sorrow the news of the death of President Hugo Chavez. It said the late president is a long time ally and friend of The Gambia.
“The government and people of The Gambia express our deepest sympathy and condolence to the government and people of the Republic of Venezuela during this time of sorrow and grief,” the released said.
According to the release, the thoughts of The Gambian people are with all the Venezuelans and Hugo Chavez family in particular and are praying that God gives the people of Venezuela the strength and courage that earn the late President the highest post in the country.
“The Gambia has not only lost a dear friend but a true fighter for the poor and helpless,” the Statehouse stated. Adding that President Chavez lived in defence of the poor and stretching out his helping hands to the needy irrespective of race, colour or religion. He will therefore be remembered for his love of humanity.
In the release, the Gambia government described the late president as an embodiment of the true teachings of Islam as he used to share his wealth with the needy and the weak. Instead of using is country’s wealth to bully people and countries, he used it to transform lives of the ordinary people at home and abroad. “This is a proper example of what a real leadership is,” the release pointed out.
The released stated that the late president’s benevolence has touched many lives around the world from education and health to infrastructure.
He has helped the sick, the poor and the desperate not only in Venezuela but around the world. His demise is therefore a great loss to decent human beings and the under-privileged everywhere in the world.
The late president of Venezuela ruled the country from 1999 until his death on 5th March 2013.