Gambia’s President Adama Barrow is moving to the State House on Monday after 11 months of taking power from Yahya Jammeh, a source close to the new leader said.
“He is moving to the State House on Monday. Work is done now and the place is renovated,” said the source.
Barrow was expected to the move to the presidential compound in the island capital, Banjul by the end of October. His move to the State House was nixed severally, mostly for safety reasons.
He has been using the vice presidential residence in Fajara as the defacto State House. Vice President Fatoumata Tambajang has been occupying the vice president’s wing of the compound since February.
Security forces have dispelled widespread reports that the State House air conditioning system of the presidential residence and executive office were stuffed with a poisonous substance by ex-President Jammeh’s loyalists.
However, Jammeh and his men had destroyed files, offices, and furniture. Electrical and telephone wirings were also tampered with.
China is said to have done the new work and renovation of the State House, transforming it from the Arab theme place that Jammeh had to a modern Western-styled complex.
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.