President Adama Barrow has said the days when The Gambia was ruled with fear was over. Stressing that it was over forever and Gambians abroad now had the liberty to return home.
Barrow who beat Yahya Jammeh in presidential polls in December 2016 is still in Senegal where he took his oath of office in Thursday.
He was addressing a section of Gambians in Dakar. Flanked by members of the political coalition that defeated Jammeh, Barrow said, ‘‘the rule of fear has been vanished from The Gambia for good. As you return home to rebuild your lives, let us not forget that Gambia itself needs to be rebuilt,’‘ he said.
The rule of fear has been vanished from The Gambia for good. As you return home to rebuild your lives, let us not forget that Gambia itself needs to be rebuilt.
“I am confident that all of you shall do shall do your best in the reconstruction of our country. I wish to congratulate all of you and welcome you to the new Gambia,’‘ Barrow concluded to a round of applause and a standing ovation.
[Focus] Jammeh to leave to Conakry with Conde, Barrow wants nationals back home https://t.co/kw1TSxy8vM— africanews (@africanews) January 21, 2017
Gambia has for 22 years been under the leadership of Yahya Jammeh, who took power as a 29-year-old lieutenant. Jammeh transited to a civilian ruler and won the last four elections in the country.
Jammeh is widely accused of rights abuse during his tenure, the persecution of political opponents and the jailing of media people was rife. Some Gambians fled the country for fear of persecution.
The 2016 polls were his fifth time and he was widely expected to win. The opposition coalition fielded Adama Barrow – an unknown real estate developer. He was declared winner of the polls on December 2 after which Jammeh called to congratulate him and promised a smooth transition.
A week later, Jammeh announced that due to irregularities in the final results, he had annulled the process and ordered a poll rerun. He also refused to leave office leading to an intervention by the regional bloc, ECOWAS.
Two ECOWAS interventions in Banjul ended inconclusively but last attempts by Guineas and Mauritanian leaders achieved a deal that sees Jammeh leaving the Gambia. Without the deal, ECOWAS forces were on standby to force Jammeh out.