Only Gambians can decide their next President – Barrow
President Adama Barrow has said he was voted by the Gambian people to serve a specific mandate of five years and that the same Gambians will choose the next president, saying it will not be any other way.
The President was speaking over the weekend while on a courtesy visit to three organisations established purposely to support and keep solidarity with his development plans: Benno Jappaleh Adama Barrow (Banjul), Barrow Fans’ Club (Sere Kunda) and Barrow Youths for National Development (Kairaba Avenue). In Sere Kunda, he inspected the three-storey national headquarters building of the Barrow Fans’ Club that will serve as a rallying point for other such offices around the country.
“There is only one way to the Presidency in The Gambia and it is the front way…. There is no back way, no side way or no window to this office. Anyone who seeks to be President has to come through the front way like I did. And the key to that gate is in the hands of the people who are the electorate,” he told a group of about three hundred fans that gathered outside the office building in Sere Kunda to cheer him.
President Barrow further said it is only the Gambians who will judge between him and all other contenders for the Presidency, but added that in the meantime, the country needs to continue the unity of purpose as manifested in the struggle against Jammeh, especially now that it has come this far.
He said as president, he is leader of the entire population, whether one approves of him or not. He said he will not drive people away from him, rather, he will welcome all with open arms. “We do not want to reach this point and head along divided lines,” he said, noting that only in unity lies the country’s hope for a better future.
In a word of advice to the executive members of his fans’ club, he told them to be law-abiding and not to engage in provocation against anyone. He added that there cannot be any development in the absence of peace and all should cherish the peace that he as President represents.
President Barrow maintained that one can never look back on those who stood by you during the toughest of times under Yahya Jammeh. “Hence today, standing by the President means standing by the country and the government.” He said they must never forget that whatever good comes to The Gambia today, everyone points to the country whilst whatever bad or failure becomes the responsibility of the President.
He said therefore, it is a forward march and not a retreat, even if that means facing death along the way.
He said this would be better choice than a retreat as that would be shameful. He said in that forward march, he as the proverbial “bus driver” ensures the bus reaches its destination.
“All passengers on the bus must abide by terms and conditions of the journey if they want to remain as passengers. Otherwise, I will have to drop you off and when I do, please know that it is not personal. It is a part of my task to rebuild a ‘new’ Gambia. So do not get bitter if you are dropped off,” he stated.