The Gambia has entered a new era of political transformation following the triumphant entry of businessman cum politician Adama Barrow into the Presidential Office of a nation that has experienced only one democratic change of governance through the poll in its 51 years of Independence since 1965. Adama Barrow, who was sworn in into office on 19 January 2017 but at the Gambia Embassy in neighbouring Senegal due to the defeated incumbent’s refusal to hand over power in due time, is a man of victories.
He won three consecutive victories on his way to the Presidential palace. In the countdown to the December 1, 2016 presidential election in The Gambia, Mr Barrow contested and won a primary in his United Democratic Party to become its standard bearer. He also contested and won another primary in an opposition coalition of parties he joined, to emerge as the presidential candidate of the coalition which contested the Gambia’s December 1, 2016 presidential poll involving former incumbent president Yahya Jammeh and another opposition contender Mamma Kandeh. Barrow eventually emerged victorious, which paved the way for him to become the third President of the Republic of The Gambia since the country attained Independence on 18 February 1965.
But he however had to be sworn in in Senegal after a six-week political impasse that led to ECOWAS leaders mediating and the subsequent intervention of the regional ECOMIG troops to force ex-president Jammeh to hand over power and go into exile in Equatorial Guinea.
In his inaugural speech in the presence of high profile dignitaries such as Ambassadors, representatives of ECOWAS, the AU and the UN, as well as a large crowd of Gambians in Senegal including Elegance Magazine’s CEO and Managing Editor Chilel Sarr, President Adama Barrow promises to unite Gambians and bring about more development to The Gambia.
Here, following, is the full inaugural speech of President Barrow on 19 January 2017 in Dakar, Senegal.