sworn to three oaths of secrecy committed to her; of execution of duties without fear or favour, and of allegiance to
be faithful and bear true allegiance - Aja Fatoumatta Jallow-Tambajang has
officially taken office yesterday.
At a ceremony held at the President’s office, Madam Tambajang thanked God for coming to the end of what she described as a 11 months’ journey “of trials and tribulations”. She also thanked President Barrow for the trusting her, motivating her and guiding her to be resilient during this journey.
“For two solid decades,” she went on to say, “Our country has endured enormous challenges as a result of bad governance of a dictatorial regime of Yahya Jammeh, which we as a nation, peace-loving, have fought against in a mature and democratic way,” she wouldn’t delve further in her speech without reference to some historical facts.
Today, she added, that democratic process is maturing in The Gambia, promising that the new government is committed to nurturing such democratic values.
“Our inspired, ingenious, talented and patriotic fellow Gambians are ready to work with our government into a democratic model in the world, through a national, constitutional, political, legal, economic, social, security and other reforms,” she said, as almost each of her sentences was greeted with rousing applause from the gallery.
The members of cabinet and the dignitaries were seated on the opposite, elevated side of what used to be the vice president’s residence. Now, the compound is turned into the president’s office.
The event was held outside the main building, towards the sea and under a tent not resembling the 80 million one mentioned at the Commission of Inquiry as purchased by ex-president Jammeh; rather, it is a simple one that could not even stop the sun from shining on the front row seats of the gallery.
It was at a garden of green grass, trimmed short and smells felt very natural with breezes from the Atlantic Ocean. Vice President, dressed in one of the highest standard VIP blue-combined-brown batik dress that swept the ground as she walks from her set to take the oath of office on a glass podium situated on the right of the high table.
The dress mesmerises the eyes of many members of the crowd gathered, with glow and elegance.
VP Jallow-Tambajang said her journey with the members of transition government’s cabinet started in 2016. She said it was “Allah’s mercy, manifesting His miracles through a historic and democratic change” in the form of a unique architecture of a coalition.
She said the journey with “these eminent and tolerant personalities” during these times, including the political impasse prompted by the denial of permit to the executive of the then opposition UDP, also resulted to her spending nights with opposition members along the main roadside of Fass Njaga Choi.
“Our national stride to champion the liberation of our political prisoners and other innocent citizens, including leaving home at 5.30 am for prison visits, hospital visits, and attending Yahya Jammeh’s orchestrated Kangaroo courts during trials of many citizens, have also been both challenging and rewarding,” she added, declaring, “Alhamdulillah”.
Many of these, VP said she gets stranded on the roadsides, to be picked up and dropped off. “And who did I see standing, to pick me up and dropping me off, was Adama Barrow,” she revealed.
“This also is marked by the action of many members of the negotiating table of the Coalition 2016. The interesting part is that sometimes, many have decided to walk out of the negotiating table, but because of wanting a democratic change, have been persuaded to come back and renegotiate, renegotiate, and renegotiate, for a democratic change,” she added.