Habemus Presidentum! Adama Barrow is Gambia’s New President

by editor | January 19, 2017 5:59 pm

By Ebrima G. Sankareh, Editor-in-Chief

A few minutes ago, at the Gambian Embassy in Dakar, Senegal, Coalition 2016 opposition candidate, Adama Barrow, took the oath of office as new President and Commander-in-Chief of the Republic of The Gambia.

Sworn in by senior Banjul barrister and president pro tempore of the The Gambia Bar Association, Sheriff Marie Tambedou, President Barrow promised to respect human rights, promote the rule of law and democracy in the checkered West African state that for two decades, has been under the thumb of a despot, Yaya Jammeh.

Invoking the Biblical Parable of the Faithful Servant: “to whom much is given, much more is expected”, a bespectacled and confident President Barrow, adorned in flashy African attire, and a modest Muslim turban, said he is the President of all Gambians irrespective of ethnicity, tribe or language grouping as well as party affiliation or political philosophy. He called on all citizens, civil servants, the armed and security forces to rally behind his government to usher in a new democratic dispensation; a regime based on meritocracy; “not whom you know, but what you know.”

The unusual ceremony, held at an unusual venue during unusual times, was attended by members of the diplomatic and consular corps based in Dakar among them UN Special Africa envoy Chambers, the French, American and British ambassadors. Several Gambians, mostly dissidents based in Dakar and several others from the United States and elsewhere attended the joyous yet highly emotional ceremony that took place as a jittery Gambian people and nation brace for a volatile political climate as the incumbent president, Yaya Jammeh still refuses to step down from office in Banjul.

The ceremony had to be held at the Gambian Embassy in Dakar because of fear that a recalcitrant President Jammeh could have potentially, provoked a chaotic scene that could have led to violence and bloodshed. The 2016 Coalition had to finally resort to international diplomatic and consular law where an embassy is considered as a territorial extension of the representative state.

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