Adama Barrow, Gambia’s president-elect has called on Gambians to pray and hope that the outgoing incumbent will peacefully give up executive power when his tenure officially ends in January.
Barrow was speaking in a Christmas message to the people of Gambia. His message was contained in a four minutes 46 seconds video posted on Youtube.
‘‘Let us all pray and counsel for the outgoing government to give peace a chance. That our peace loving people will be protected from any harm as we enter a new year of hope.
If the colonialists could peacefully handover executive powers in accordance with the dictates of the people of the Gambia, we the citizen should be able to show a better example to our children.
‘‘I urge all Gambians to advocate pray and work for a peaceful transfer of executive power for the first time in our history since independence. If the colonialists could peacefully handover executive powers in accordance with the dictates of the people of the Gambia, we the citizen should be able to show a better example to our children,’‘ Barrow added.
The incumbent president Yahya Jammeh who was declared loser in the December 1 elections conceded to much continental and international praise before announcing the annulment of the polls results a week later. Jammeh cited irregularities and intimidation of his party members as the reason for his decision.
He has asked for a rerun of the polls and has dared West African leaders under the aegis of the political bloc, Economic Community of West African States, (ECOWAS) to make good their promise to enforce the outcome of the elections.
Meanwhile Barrow has also stated that under his tenure after he takes over on January 19, he will ensure that the Gambia remains a ‘secular, democratic sovereign country.’
Jammeh had labeled the country an Islamic republic in December 2015 as part of efforts to distance Gambia from its colonial past. Jammeh came to power through a bloodless coup in 1994, he was elected in 1996 and reelected continuously in 2001, 2006 and 2011.
Barrow disclosed that he had commissioned a think tank called the Agency for Sustainable Socio-economic Development – a 7 member panel of experts in the area of politics, civil, economic, social, cultural and environment to coordinate mobilization of experts to prepare the development blueprint of his government.
The panel he said will invite Gambian experts and concerned friends to establish expert bank to develop sectoral blueprint for his government’s three-year agenda from 2017 to 2020.
He also reiterated his policy of inclusiveness in the drive to build a country which will ensure national unity and freedom to ensure peace and prosperity for all. ‘‘Let us all make a pledge as a New Year resolution that we will ever be true to our homeland, the Republic of the Gambia. Forward ever, backward never,’‘ he concluded.