For 22 years, Gambians found themselves under the constant threat of President Yahya Jammeh and for once, the people stood up for themselves and fought. They used the power of the ballot to oust Jammeh and entrust their peace of mind with President-elect Adama Barrow.
Since Barrow won the shocking elections, he has failed to address this threat. Gambians continue to live in fear. They do not trust Jammeh as the people watch the transition closely.
President-elect Adama Barrow has not asserted any form of authority and even with the great responsibilities ahead, he should at least address the nation; thank the people and put their fears to ease.
It is coming to a week and Mr. Barrow has not made any official statement. I find his reason for not addressing the nation inexcusable.
Talking to local newspaper FOROYAA, Barrow said:
“Technically there was something that was holding us. We wanted to relay this message with our supporters but it could come through because we were waiting on the government side to congratulate us. That takes time and it was late so it was not safe anymore for me to go in the street so I decided to come home. But we are working on it to gather our supporters at one point and address them.”
President Yahya Jammeh has called and congratulated Mr. Barrow and the coalition leaders since December 2. An official statement was made, which was handed to Barrow’s communications team. The president-elect could have given a victory speech to inspire the nation and thank the people that Friday morning. There was no need to wait for all call from any member of the Jammeh administration including the outgoing president to claim victory, show gratitude and start uniting the nation.
Whiles, it is all good and well that the president-elect is taking time in between meetings to give interviews to the international press, long before polls were closed, there should have been a concession speech and a victory speech with plans to have the president-elect deliver any in a timely manner.
Such a speech does not require Mr. Barrow to tell us plans of what his transition would necessarily look like. This is one that should be done to reignite hope and to know that we should fear no more. It is one of the most important speeches of our nation’s political history. The truth is, he owes us this.