By Nelson Manneh
Hundreds of people who assembled at the Westfield junction to welcome President Adama Barrow back home have been expressing their views on his homecoming following his swearing in on 19 January 2017 at the Gambian Embassy Dakar, Senegal.
This reporter visited Westfield to gauge the mood of the people on how they feel about his coming home.
Hawa Drammeh, a woman in her sixties, said this is the day that Gambians were yearning for. She added that Barrow is chosen as the President of the Gambia by the Gambians. “We voted for him because we want changes, we want a president who will listen to his citizens and do what is right and not to dictate to us as if we are his children,’’ she said.
She said that Gambians were sleeping as they thought that a president cannot be replaced through the ballot box which has now been proven wrong.
Andrew Mendy, for his part, said he is happy because this is the first time Gambians are experiencing change of Government through the ballot box. “This will make all African leaders to know that they do not come to stay forever but to do their part and go. This will also teach them a lesson to know that the power belongs to the people,’’ he added.
Mr. Mendy said this is a new Gambia and they expect the new Government to ensure the rational use of public funds and to build the country as expected.
Yankuba Marong, in his eighties, said he has never set eyes on the new president and is the reason why he came to the highway just to see his President. According to him, all leaders are equal. “Let us wait and see what the new government will do for its people,” he stressed.
Mr. Marong added that he is very happy to witness a change of government where there are no casualties. “I may die before the next government comes but I thank God that I am alive today to witness this day. As you can see I am very old,’’ he asserted.
It could be recalled that President Adama Barrow was declared by the Chairman of the Independent Electoral Commissioner (IEC) as the winner of the December 1ST presidential election. However, this was challenged by Yahya Jammeh, former president, who called for a fresh election and then declared a state emergency as well as extend the mandate of the National Assembly.