At around 06:00 am yesterday, Captain Tumbul Tamba, Principal Protection Officer to the President at the State House, gave his last breath at the Royal Victoria Teaching Hospital (RVTH) in Banjul.
The news on Captain Tamba’s demise sent a wave of shock and sadness in the early hours, especially among members of the Gambia Armed Forces (GAF) and his family. His untimely departure to eternity came two weeks after he had been hospitalised at the country’s main referral hospital, following a protracting illness.
The body of the late army captain, who had served under the United Nations Peacekeeping Mission in Sierra Leone in 2004, was laid to rest at Bijilo in Kombo North District, where thousands of sympathisers and mourners assembled to witness the burial of a royal and dedicated army officer. Secretaries of States, religious leaders, senior government officials, members of GAF, the relatives, friends and well wishers attended the burial.
A traditional military honour was mounted for the late distinguished GAF member, who had also served as the Commander at the Kanilai Camp, after establishing himself as a professional and outstanding member of the Gambia Armed Forces.
He rose through various ranks to become a captain and had manned several positions during his 18 year-long resolute dedication to duty and to the nation.
Commenting on the news in an interview with the Daily Observer, Colonel Lang Tombong Tamba, Chief of Defence Staff of the Gambia Armed Forces, expressed his profound shock and sympathy with the demise of Captain Tamba, saying “we will miss him in the Armed Forces”.
Col Tamba remembered the late captain as a “royal, respectful, and highly disciplined and motivated officer”. He added that the decease, widely admired by the public, has unshakable “regard for the people” that refined his indelible trails as a distinguished military officer.
“He will be remembered”, Col Tamba added “by the legacy he left behind. We pray to God, the Almighty to accept him in His heaven”.
The decease, Tamba was a renown football fan and staunch supporter of former English Premiership giants, the Gunners (Arsenal). As a show of his love for the game, Captain Tamba served in the Organising Committee of the Gambia Football Association for the development of soccer in the country.
The late Captain Tamba was married and had been survived by four children.