Gambia welcomes Sidia Jatta as African Hero of 2024

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Honorable Sidia Jatta, veteran Gambian politician, linguist, and chairman of People’s Democratic Organisation for Independence and Socialism (PDOIS), was accorded a grand welcome by people of different walks of life from across the country at the Banjul International Airport in Yundum, as African Hero of the Year 2024.

During an award night, he won this year’s African Heroes Award from the African Students Union at Ohio University on March 30, 2024.

Jatta, 79, was born in Sutukoba, Wuli District. He received his early education in The Gambia and later went to Nungua Secondary School near Accra, Ghana.

He also attended the University of Grenoble, France, where he obtained undergraduate and master’s in linguistics.

Addressing the gathering at Banjul International Airport, Yundum, and PDOIS bureau, Churchill’s Town, respectively, the former London-based Internal African Institute fellow expressed how the award energized him to continue serving humanity.

Mr. Alhagie Mamadi Kurang of PDOIS described Sidia as a humble leader.

Kurang recounted, “I traveled with the PDOIS chairman to the Gambian province of Kiang. I and my compatriots slept on beds, and in the morning, I found Sidia humbly lying on a mat where he spent the whole night.”

Dr. Bai Biran Jagne, another PDOIS comrade to Sidia, noted that the award their party chairman received was the same that Nelson Mandela was given.

“This is indeed a result and a manifestation of Sidia’s dedication to serving the people of The Gambia and Africa in general,” added Dr. Jagne.

The Gambian-born African Hero for 2024 was escorted with banners, flying Gambia flags, and his party flag from the airport to PDOIS head office in Churchill’s Town with motorcades.

 The former National National Assembly member for Wuli West and Halifa Sallah, the Secretary General of PDOIS, refused the offer of ministériel positions in former President Yahya Jammeh’s AFPRC government in 1994.

They were detained for defying a decree banning political activities.

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