EYEAFRICA TV: Banjul, The Gambia: His popularity in Gambian politics is touching down the base, but President Adama Barrow showed ardent determination to lead the tiny West African nation, whose dignity and pride was stolen away from the global platform during the 22-year rule of his predecessor.
Despite the opposition challenges Mr Barrow is receiving from majority of Gambians, with even his close political friends deserting him, he still maintained a staunch commitment to see that his government’s plans, including those in the National Development Plan (NDP) blueprint are executed.
Mr Barrow addressed the country’s National Assembly Thursday morning in his 2019 State of the Nation address, in what could be seen as one of his unpopular days in the country as two of the well decorated tents remain empty throughout the session.
Some analysts say many people decided to stay away from the legislative building during the president’s address because of the increasing technological advancement, since they can be in their houses and follow live broadcasts on social media and online media platforms. But some say Mr Barrow is losing clinch of power because majority of Gambians have now clearly disapprove his leadership.
His unpopularity began to boom more when he fired his one-time foreign affairs minister and vice president, Ousainou Darboe, who he once described as his political ‘god’ father at a 2017 meeting in Paris which was attended by dozens of Gambians. “I am proud to call myself as Darboe’s son. He is our political mentor, and Godfather,” Mr Barrow said at the Paris meeting.
It was Mr. Darboe’s United Democratic Party (UDP) that gave him the popular majority that earned him presidency in the 2016 general election.
“I call on all Gambians to join us in the healing, reconciliation and reconstruction process that is in progress. Let us unite as a nation, and work together as a people; primarily, as brothers and sisters in a family,” he appealed to Gambians in his Thursday address.
He said Gambians must not allow politics or any worldly affair to separate them, reminding them that they are all human beings and Gambians first, before anything else. “As we look forward to the Third Republic, my government has sown the seeds of success for the rebirth of The Gambia. I pray that Allah helps us all the way to achieve our noble goals.”
Mr Barrow tendered his resignation as a member of the UDP and all the positions he held therein, in a letter dated 3 November 2016 to via for presidency as the standard bearer of an eight- member party opposition coalition.
He now face several frightening challenges, including pressure calling him to resign in December as agreed with opposition leaders before the 2016 election. A pressure group who call themselves Operation three years jotna, have been strongly campaigning and asking Mr Barrow to respect his word and step aside at the end of three years this December, for a fresh election to be conducted.
In a last August meeting with West Coast Region council of elders at his office at Statehouse, Mr Barrow was quoted making a statement that appears to demonstrate that he is not yet ready to honour the three years mandate agreement he had with the 8 party leaders that formed the coalition.
“Except that I make my decision and later change, my mandate is five years and I will complete it because there are unfinished works,” Mr. Barrow told the group of elders from Gambia’s biggest region. He said that would be added to his legacy in which people will say President Barrow brought a constitution that can be valid for fifty to one hundred years.