President Barrow: I’m not an accidental President! I earn it!

Gambian leader has brushed aside the notion that he becomes President by accident.

“I’m not an accidental President,” President Adama Barrow tells France 24 television. Prior to contesting the elections in December last year, President Barrow had gone through the nomination processes of his party (United Democratic Party) and opposition alliance convention.

“At my own party level three people applied and contested for the presidential nomination. Twenty-two of the twenty-six delegates voted for me,” President Barrow adds.

“At the alliance level eight parties came together, four candidates contested and I won the convention. I scored 308 votes while the second person got 72 votes,” Barrow says, proving a point that he is definitely “not an accidental President.”

Mr. Barrow is asked whether the Gambia and Senegal contemplate on forming a future confederation. He answered in the negative. “The two neighbouring countries’ people are the same,” he says, describing Senegal and the Gambia as “true friends.”

President Barrow, who wraps up a tour in France and Belgium, goes home with positive message. He remains grateful to French President François Hollande for the invitation as well as demonstration of commitment to suppirting the Gambia, a country that has just broken the shackles of 22 years of dictatorship.

President Barrow dispels existence of cracks within his governing coalition government. “The coalition is in tact,” he says. “The parties formed Tactical Alliance to contest in the April 6th National Assembly election. The coalition is not a political party which means candidates will have to resign from their parties to contest. If everyone resigns from their parties, who is going to run the parties?”

Barrow touts the possibility of putting in place the Truth and Reconciliation Commission to get to the bottom of the Jammeh regime’s atrocities, although 18 people have so far been in custody. He adds that all necessary measures, including seizure of foreign assets, will be applied to recover the Gambia’s looted wealth. President Barrow’s predecessor has left behind an empty coffer. So far, over 4 billion Dalasis have been withdrawn from state institutions. Investigations into the Jammeh regime’s financial malfeasance continues.



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