Thousands march to support Barrow’s 5-year mandate

Monday, January 13, 2020

Thousands of Gambians on Sunday took to the streets from Sting Corner to Denton Bridge to demand President Barrow to serve a full five-year mandate as stipulated in the constitution of The Gambia.

The solidarity march, organised by The Gambia for 5 Years and Peace Building came in less a month after a similar protest march staged by a rival group dubbed -Operation 3 Years Jotna, a pressure group calling for Barrow’s resignation at the end of his promised three year-term, as per coalition agreement.

However, multitude, who turned up at the solidarity match held various banners and flyers with powerful inscriptions namely - “We give our support to Barrow for 5 years”, “Barrow for 5 years peace and stability” Actors for peace. We stand by the constitution,” “GPDP in defence of the constitution,” “North Bank Region Barrow for 5 Years” and “We stand by the constitution” amongst others.

In an interview with The Point Newspaper, Lamin Jammeh, vice chairperson of The Gambia for 5 Years and Peace Building, said they are holding this solidarity march to defend the constitution of The Gambia.

“We came to show Gambians and the whole world that we are supporting what is stated in the constitution of The Gambia, which states that anybody elected as the president of the Gambia should govern the country for a 5-year term,” he said.

Jammeh described President Barrow as a loyal and someone who has great respect for the constitution, adding that the constitution of The Gambia is the supreme law which supersedes all verbal agreement in the country.

He thus called on all Gambians to respect the constitution and support President Barrow in his quest to further develop the country.  

Also speaking, Ebrima Sorrie Bah, secretary general of Gambia For 5 Years and Peace Building, said they organised this solidary march to show their support for the country’s constitution, especially where it is highly tasted by 3 Years Jotna, a pressure group calling for Barrow’s resignation at the end of three year-term.

“We came out in our thousands to petition the president that Gambian constitution supersedes any agreement of a Coalition,” he said.

According to him, Operation 3 Years Jotna members are using the verbal agreement stated by the Coalition, as a way to cause problem in the country.

He went further to ask why Gambians voted for him, if he (Barrow) lacks the competence to lead the Gambians as stated by Operation 3 Years Jotna?. He also joined others in calling on all to remain law-abiding and respect the will of the constitution

 Seedy Njie, a strong Barrow supporter, described the solidarity march as very important because it shows the political maturity of Gambians in exercising their rights and to respect democracy, rule of law and good government

“What we need to understand is that no country in the world can’t be run through morality,” he said, adding that: “We have our supreme law which is the guiding principle and once a president, National Assembly member and any other official on the service of the Gambian government, it is prescribed to take oath of office to serve for 5 years,” he said.

President Barrow, he explained, has swore to defend, protect and uphold the dignity of the constitution of The Gambia, adding that when Barrow was swearing-in, he affirmed he would rule the country in accordance of the constitution of The Gambia.

Haddy Faal, a Barrow fan, explained that they joined in the solidarity march to show their support to Barrow for 5 Years’ mandate, adding that Gambians have to respect the dictates of the constitution so that peace and stability can remain in the country.

“We are all here to give support to President Adama Barrow and his 5-year term as mandated in the constitution. We shouldn’t allow anybody to come and divide us by their influence and money because The Gambia is known for its peace and stability,” she said.

Nyima Saidykhan, another Barrow fan, acknowledged that they are not only supporting Barrow for 5 Years, but now for 15 years. This, she added, is because Barrow is a leader who is helping The Gambia after undergoing through a 22-year brutal dictatorship.

“I don’t know about others, but for me and my people will always give our support to President Barrow and whosoever is standing on our way will fight till our last breath,” she said.   

Author: Arfang M.S. Camara