Gambia’s President Adama Barrow have admitted to giving out money publicly when thousands of citizens lined up the streets to welcome him back.
Barrow, who was already getting scrutinized over his vice presidential pick found himself sinking in another wave of criticism after a photo of him handing out money emerged.
Barrow told reporters on Saturday he ‘only gave GMD200’ to a traditional masquerade.
The president’s official photographer, Alhagie Manka said he thought it was a moment worth capturing and sharing with all Gambians as Mr. Barrow was giving the masquerade locally called Kankurang as a sign of ‘respect and gratitude’ in our culture.
“I took the moment at a moment of exhilaration. There was a Kankurang [masquerade] dancing endlessly for him and in appreciation and a moment of joy, the president gave him money as a sign of respect and gratitude as we do in our Gambian culture with Kanjurangs,” he said.
Former Gambian President Yahya Jammeh has been criticized for throwing money and biscuits to the crowd and many Gambians want to do away with the practice.
President Adama Barrow is a political novice and technically learning on the job. While some will see it more as cultural, pro-democracy campaigners insist it must cease.