Dr Saja Taal Passes Away in Dakar

Dr Alieu Badara Saja Taal
The late Dr Alieu Badara Saja taal

By Baboucarr Ceesay

Dr. Alieu Badara Saja Taal, a renowned Gambian scholar and senior lecturer at the University of The Gambia is announced death  at a hospital in Dakar, Senegal yesterday.

According to sources, the Political Sciences, Management, Public Administration and Tourism lecturer died of liver infection which he has been battling with for a while and was admitted on occasions before his demise.

He has been admitted at the Serrekunda Hospital in Kanifing and later to Edward Francis Small teaching Hospital before taken to Dakar for further treatment where he took his last breathe.

He served as permanent secretary in the first republic and had worked at the bureau of Yahya Jammeh’s ruling APRC. He also served as Managing Director of Observer Company.

Dr Saja Taal’s earlier involvement in pro-government politics and as MD of Daily Observer provoked criticisms.

It was during his tenure as Daily Observer MD that journalist Chief Ebrima Manneh was arrested in 2006 and disappeared in thin air without trace up till now and Dr. Taal being mute about the young journalist’s case caused suspicions about him.

“Dr Taal was a great thinker and an inspiring lecturer,” said Jainaba Ceesay one of his students at the University of The Gambia.

Described as an intellectual who contributed a lot in the academic development of several students at UTG, another student Tapha said Dr Taal’s demise is a great lost to the academia.

Ebrima Jaw Manneh who worked under the deceased at Daily Observer portrayed him as phenomenal at many fronts, passionate about the quest for knowledge, and had profoundly touched the hearts and minds of Gambians, especially the young.

“It took him a fraction of second for him to leave a hue of intellectual trademark on a person. No eulogy can give the sum total of the depth of his intellectual profundity. Cherished the memories shared at DO (bright days and dark ones) and on the streets of our towns,” Jaw posted on Facebook wishing him a perfect rest in peace.

He has also published lots of scholarly and influential papers among which of his popular paper is on ‘Pan Africanism- An African liberation ideology against the domination of Africans by Whites’.

Dr Taal was awarded International Visiting Academic, Teesside University, Middleborough, UK, 10 Years’ Service Award UTG, The Gambia.

He was a member of UTG consulting team as consultant on Governance and Human Rights in the Gambia for The Association of Non-Governmental Organisations (Tango). In 2012 UTG he was consultant for UNECA on Monitoring Good Governance in the Gambia 2004 and 2007 UTG consultant for UNECA on Dynamics of Electoral Governance in the Gambia 2012.

Educated at the University of New England where he obtained BA. (Hons), M.A. (Hons), History and Political Science 1970 – 1976, Dr Taal was awarded International Visiting Academic, Teesside University, Middleborough, UK, 10 Years’ Service Award UTG, The Gambia.

He involved in Cross-Cultural Research Studies and at Teesside University where he conducted research on Muslims and Non-Muslim community relations in North East of England.

Sources told Gambia Watchdog that his body will soon be brought to the Gambia for burial.

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