By Momodou Jarju
President Adama Barrow has disclosed that a different approach will be manifested by his Government in 2019, which he describes as “a turning point” for the country.
Barrow made this statement in response to his critics who say he seldom talks to respond to criticism.
Speaking on 18th December 2018 at the foundation stone laying ceremony of the Gambia College Teacher Training Extension in Basse, President Barrow said it is now time for him to talk.
“Some people say President Barrow lacks the courage and does not talk. It is now time for me to talk. That is why I am talking. But when one is talking, one has to think critically,” he said.
Barrow said Gambians voted him to serve up to 2021. He said that is why he will work henceforth to fulfil his National Development Plan (NDP) 2018-2021; that it would be left to the Gambians to decide. He said he will not allow any person to spoil that vision. The Coalition President said every political party should have a Gambian agenda as their responsibility.
“I am the one who gives every position in the Government today. Gambians entrusted the mantle of leadership to me. So, any position I entrust to anyone, is because I want the person to deliver. This country is worth everything for me,” he said. Barrow urged all Gambians to unite and work together for the betterment of the country, saying he is a grass root president.
Momodou Krubally, the District Chief of Fulladu East said the initiative of the development projects came as a surprise; that their community has never registered such remarkable development projects that they had already, since President Barrow took office.
The Governor of Upper River Region (URR) Fanta BS Manneh, said the rationale of the development project signifies government’s priority to education; that teacher training would increase the number of qualified teachers and promote retention across the country.
Manneh urged her people to work towards ensuring the project’s full implementation. “The construction of the College would create employment opportunities to the people which will in turn, contribute to better livelihood,” she said.
MRC Holland Ambassador in The Gambia Madam Hentrietta Sonko, said building classroom alone is not enough to provide quality education to children; that teachers are needed as well.
Sonko said there were critics who thought the project will not succeed. But that with the commitment and support received from the president, the project has started and hopefully it will come to a fruitful end. She said it is up to the natives of the community to support the project, to ensure its success.
Abubacarr Jallow, the principal of the Gambia College said his institution has been left behind for the past decades; but that they are lucky in Barrow’s leadership, citing the recent donations he made to the College. ‘‘President Barrow gave the College a bus and five pick-up trucks, to ease their mobility,’’ he said; that with this project, they will now admit students within URR and environs, and to post them within their communities. Meanwhile, the College extension is sponsored by MRC Holland, a charitable organization that has become a household name in the country. The project is expected to complete in September next year, when learning will start. There will be quarters for lecturers and dormitories for students who wish to stay on campus.