For more, host of VOA’s Nightline Africa Peter Clottey spoke to the minister of information in Gambia, Lamin Queen Jammeh.
The interview was edited for brevity and clarity.
VOA: Tell us more about the proceedings during the seven-day mourning period following the announcement by President Adama Barrow.
Jammeh: The body arrived Saturday evening and as it is now, all ceremonies are scheduled to start Monday morning which is when the body will be laid at the national assembly.
As the body lays at the national assembly, people will be given an opportunity to pay their final respects and prayers will be offered. There after the body will be transferred to his settlement where the burial will be done.
VOA: How are people reacting to the death of Vice President Joof?
Jammeh: People were shocked by the news. He was a high caliber citizen among citizens whose dedication to Gambia could not be questioned.
His commitment to national building was appreciated by everybody and garnered respect across all political affiliations, despite political differences.
This is what motivated President Adama Barrow to declare a seven- day mourning period in respect to Joof.
VOA: What led to the death of Vice President Joof?
Jammeh: What we know is that he died while seeking treatment in India. Officially we can report that he died after being sick for a short while.
He was on his feet until the point he was transported to India for his treatment which made us believe that he may have been addressing a mild sickness.
VOA: What is the procedure behind replacing Vice President Joof?
Jammeh: That is the prerogative of the president because according to the constitution he appoints every member of parliament.