Gambia’s President Adama Barrow may be heading to live in the country’s capital, Banjul in late October, a move that will see him moving into the peoples’ house ten months into coming to power, a senior official confided.
Barrow, 52, won the elections bringing hope and a new era to The Gambia but could not move into The State House, the presidential compound because it was stripped by former President Yahya Jammeh.
“The president will soon move into the State House, latest by end of October. Work is completed; they are just doing the finishing touches and this will be an exciting moment to see him finally move into the peoples’ house,” the official said.
“He is very excited about this chapter in his life and that of his family. He recognizes this as an honor to be moving into a house that belong to Gambians and looks forward to the years ahead in the State House.”
Jammeh and his men had destroyed files and offices at The State House. Electrical and telephone wirings were tampered with and the air conditioning system reportedly stuffed with poisoned powder.
Although Gambians authorities confirmed the vandalizing of the State House, they refuted reports of the air conditioning system being stuffed with powdered poison.
Barrow had been using a hotel room as his office until he was yanked into hiding in Senegal, under the protection of West African forces after concerns over his safety grew.
He continued to use the hotel office spaces until anti-corruption campaigners ridiculed his new administration for spending more than $50,000 (D2 million dalasis) on the use of the hotel.
The criticism prompted him to make a move, using the official residence of the Vice President as he temporal office, while work on the State House is completed.
Mr. Barrow is using his private residences still and known for his humility, this is not expected to change for the most part but may be forced not to frequent them due to security concerns amid reports of external armed opposition to his rule.
Barrow’s coming to power and his stay out of the State House is unprecedented. His aides say Barrow is now more than ever, ready to be a Banjul resident and having Marina Parade as his official address.