Gambia’s President Adama Barrow made a bold political ploy holding a unity rally in the West African nation’s southwestern region, where ex-President Yahya Jammeh still enjoys strong backing.
Barrow gathered elders, mostly village heads and district chiefs in Sibanor, a major city in the Foni region urging citizens of the opposition throttlehold to embrace the spirit of the New Gambia, calling for reconciliation.
“I wanted the whole country united after the elections and I have not forgotten about the people of Foni. It cannot always go one person’s way. I am President today and tomorrow it will be someone else. That is just how the world works,” said Barrow.
Foni became the epi-center for post-electoral violence after Barrow defeated Jammeh, a native of the region. His supporters and that of the ex-ruler clashed severally and a protest in the region left one person dead and several people injured.
After Barrow assumed power, many natives of the Foni region accused his administration of targeting them, an allegation that he denied. Barrow’s spokesperson, Amie Bojang-Sissoho at the time said those that were fired from the government were officials that were wrongfully appointed.
Opposition activist and member of Barrow’s APRC party from the region, Lamin Tamba still insists the dismissals were wrong, saying most have not even received a separation letter.
But Barrow said the days of politics are over. He wants the country to unite and focus on transforming its economy and pledge he will not perpetuate himself in power.
“What happened during the impasse should teach us that if we unite, our leaders will do what we desire and will not entrench themselves in power. The peaceful resolution of the electoral crisis is something we Gambians, including all of you in Foni, should be proud of and a lesson for us all to remain united,” Barrow said.