Barrow tells African descendants 'no one can take your Africaness away'

Jun 14, 2021, 11:04 AM | Article By: Sankulleh Gibril Janko

President Adama Barrow has promised to support the Council of African Descendants to reintegrate in the society, adding that no one can take their ‘Africaness’ away from them.

Barrow made the remarks recently after an audience with members of the Council of African Descendants at State House.

The Council of African Descendants (COAD) is calling on the authorities to review the current naturalisation clause which requires a person to be a resident of the Gambia for 15 years before they could be qualified for consideration.

The members are equally calling for an automatic citizenship not to have equal rights as those who met the automatic rights as Gambian citizens but to be automatically recognised as people of African descent- automatic identity assurance.

The head of the delegation to State House, Juliet Ryan also known as Nyancho Kujabi expressed her delight for the audience with the Head of State President Barrow, describing him as wonderful human being and a gentleman.

Nyancho claimed the president made them feel at home, adding he told them they are welcome to Gambia.

"He told us that we are very welcome to be here and that was really life-changing to hear it from the head of state.

"Also he told us that no one can take our Africaness away from us and that we are Africans and to have that reassurance, the reaffirmation, we know we are Africans but to have that acceptance is very important from a head of state.

She said the Gambian leader added that African descendants in New York and the rest of the world are Africans, citing a song from great Jamiacan singer Peter Tosh who said no "matter where you come from as far as you are blackman you are an African."

"I have that reassurance from him that it's something he is definitely going to look into.

"He wants us to know that he understands and we have his support," Nyancho added.

She spoke highly of the willingness of members of the National Assembly to listen to their calls.

Former President Yahya Jammeh had given automatic citizenships to many African descendants during various Home Coming Festivals in Kanilai, a move that was applauded.

It is hoped that the Barrow government will follow suit and equally emulate many West African countries that put in place strategies that give automatic recognition to people of African descent.