As President of The Gambia, Adama Barrow, gets ready to officially assume office, he has praised the Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS, for its intervention to ensure a successful transfer of power in his country.
Barrow specially appreciated the role played by Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari and other international bodies that ensured that his mandate became a reality.
The new President also promised to run a transparent and all-inclusive government.
Addressing journalists in Dakar, Senegal, where he was sworn in, Adama noted that the time has come for The Gambia to attain greatness and development.
“The time is now,” he said, “There cannot be a better time because Gambians had waited for too long for this opportunity to come.
“This government would involve all well meaning citizens irrespective of political leanings and religion to build the country.
“We shall together do this in order to redeem the good image of the country and move it to greater height,” the President said.
Barrow pointed out that the people of The Gambia were very happy because the change they had waited for, for years, has finally come.
He called all citizens of the country to join hands in the project to bring rapid development to the country, adding that his administration will try to reconcile all warring factions for the good and development of the country.
He said “With unity of purpose a lot can be achieved within the space of little time that everybody can be proud of anytime anywhere.
“With everybody on board, Gambia can become one of the great countries of the world going by its potential and human resources.”
On how he plans to go about achieving his set goals, the new President said his administration “shall embark on robust policies and programmes where everybody will have equal chance as that is key in democracy.”
He added: “We are going to redeem all items in our manifesto for the benefit of the people. Gambia is back and we are ready to move it forward.
“We are also going to encourage people, especially Nigerians to invest in the country and create more employment.
“We will encourage them and other foreign investors to go into production.
“We do not want the idea of buying and selling because, your life will depend on others. So, we will encourage people to go into production,” the President said.
Barrow further assured the people of adequate security, maintaining that he would leave a good legacy behind for the people and country.
He expressed delight for the support extended to him during the trying time, adding that the people must remain dogged and resilient for the government to deliver dividends of democracy.
The Gambia’s former President, Yahya Jammeh, who had led the country for 22 years, left the country on exile on Sunday, having reluctantly agreed to quit office after lots of persuasion.
Jammeh had lost the presidential election held in December, but insisted that he will not hand over power to Barrow who was declared winner of the election.
But ECOWAS threatened to oust the ex-president by force if he refuses to peacefully leave office.
It was not immediately clear which country he had gone to.
Nigeria’s House of Representatives had a fortnight ago voted to grant Jammeh asylum in the country if he so decides.