By Abdoulie John

Gambian leader winds up his maiden presidential visit to the United States where he attended the General Assembly of the United Nations. President Adama Barrow wrapped up his flurry of activities with a town hall meeting with Diaspora Gambians in New York on Saturday before heading home a day later.

President Barrow has repeatedly appealed to Gambians to come home with their vast wealth of experience and knowledge. He drummed up a similar message upon arrival at the Banjul International Airport. Unlike his predecessor who scares Diaspora Gambians with threats of persecution, Mr. Barrow wants all Gambians to take advantage of the country’s new political dispensation. For him, Diaspora Gambians can effectively return home and contribute their quota to national development.

“We want Gambians to come and join us here and work in the interest of the country,” President Barrow told reporters upon arrival at Banjul International airport on Sunday evening.

Accompanied by a high powered delegation, the Gambian made his first United Nations Summit address. His speech — a far cry from controversial Yahya Jammeh’s past speeches — was highly welcomed at home and abroad.

President Barrow was excited to meet America-based Gambians who briefed the President with issues affecting them.

Barrow said Gambians were very happy to meet the new leadership. “I told them I am also an example. I decided to come back under a situation that was more difficult than now,” he added.

He said everybody has the liberty to come back home. “I think they were convinced,” he said, referring to Diaspora Gambians who were instrumental in putting an end to Yahya Jammeh’s 22 years of dictatorial rule. Apart from feeding their families and friends with remittances, these change agents pulled together human and material resources together until Gambians were finally freed.

Ends

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