Gambian president Adama Barrow visited Faraba on Friday, where he empathized with bereaved families and injured victims currently hospitalized. Mr. Barrow’s speech was mainly centered on the future of his presidency, and his legacy as a Gambian president. While taking a jab at his opponents in the opposition—branding them as wolves in a sheep clothing, Barrow cautioned Faraba residents to be mindful of those trying to capitalize on the incident for political gains.
The rambling Gambian rookie president has signaled his intention of running for office after the transition period. Hear him: “We can only have one president at a time. For now, I have been given a five-year mandate to rule. At the end of my five years mandate, then we can all weigh into the political race to very for the presidency.”
Quoting a Fullani proverb to justify his assertion that the Gambia can only have one president at a time, Barrow said, prior to him ascending to the presidency, there were other presidents before him. He cited the presidency of President Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara, and Yahya Jammeh; all of whom, he said, have served this country, and are no longer in office. He told residents that he too will one day leave the presidency. But he appealed for calm, and tolerance to prevail in the country.
Mr. Barrow said he wants to propagate a positive legacy so that he will be able to live in the Gambia and coexist with its citizens after he leaves the presidency. He said he never dreamt that he will one day become a president while recalling the days he used to go to the Kanifing Municipal Council to conduct business there. He singled out Pa Kalifa Sanyang, a former official of the Council, who is also a native of Faraba during his speech. He said he used to meet Sanyang at the Council during his past visits there.
Mr. Barrow has never excluded himself from running for office after what he called his five-year mandate. “We can all run for office after my five-year term mandate expires,” Barrow said in the Mandinka dialect.
Barrow’s Faraba Banta statement has confirmed months of speculations and counters speculations that he is working on forming a political party. He has already formed a Youth Movement. Though, the Coalition government dominant party—the United Democratic Party (UDP) is opposed to the said movement.
Mr. Barrow is no longer sticking to the three-year transition period he and his colleagues in the Coalition Government agreed upon prior to his December 2016 electoral victory. He has been drumming the five-year mandate as stipulated by the constitution in his recent speeches. He made similar remarks during his Koriteh speech.
“This is our country. We own it. No one will come from outside to govern this country for us,” Barrow said.
Barrow also counseled the families of the Faraba incident. He advised them to keep the faith. He recalled meeting the third victim at the Francis Small Teaching Hospital before his recent demise. He said little did he knew that he was talking to a dying young man.
“Let us accept God’s decision. The incident was predestined by God. I have never visited the hospital since I became president. This was my first visit to the hospital since I was elected. I had a lengthy conversation with one of the injured young men. I was told that he died a day later after we met,” Barrow remarked.
“I lost my own son immediately I won the elections. He died. That was a test for me, from God. Let us continue to put our faith in God,” Barrow added.
Mr. Barrow’s son was bitten by a stray dog while he was in Dakar, Senegal, during Gambia’s month-long political impasse. His son was buried in his absence.
Watch the full video of Adama Barrow’s speech in Faraba below
Written By Pa Nderry M’Bai
Source: Freedom Newspaper