Gambia’s Vice President Fatoumata Jallow-Tambajang, who won the New African Magazine’s African Woman of the Year Award, has called on the people to be patient with the new administration.
Gambians have been pounding on the Barrow government to quickly implement reforms and have those suspected of committing human rights abuses and crimes against the state detained.
But authorities say proper procedure must be followed and the civil rights of any accused person must be respected.
Gambians voted for the real estate developer in December with high expectations of creating jobs, salvaging the economy and reducing the cost of living.
“Rome was not built in a day… This government is not asking for people to be complacent but we need to manage the expectations. There is a need for patience because we are working on reversing a trend that went on for 22 years.”
Barrow defeated autocratic ruler, Yahya Jammeh, whose anti-western stands economically and politically isolated the nation of fewer than two million people.
President Barrow said a blueprint for his government’s priorities will be out for public scrutiny in May and VP Tambajang says the reforms will start thereafter.
The Barrow administration did not have handing over of power. The transition was delayed by the two-month political impasse which rocked the small nation after Jammeh refused to step down claiming the election wasn’t fair.
“We had an election on December 1 and we won but we were only able to settle in February and inaugurate the president on Gambian soil,” she said.
In the first months of his presidency, Barrow had to run state affairs from a hotel room. His first focus was on salvaging what was left of the nearly insolvent economy.
The EU has released some US$37 million in aid that were frozen over human rights concerns. It has pledged to give at least US$180 million in aid by 2020 to the impoverished West African state.