Gambians are quiet optimistic about the country’s future, hoping that the new government under President Barrow would deliver to the Gambian people.
Speaking to this medium on Thursday at the Banjul International Airport during the homecoming of President Barrow, many people raised concerns about the country’s human rights records, democracy and press freedom among other things.
“I hope there will be more media friendly, repeal the draconian media laws put in place by the former government,” Alieu Badara Sowe said.
Mr. Sowe who worked for several media houses including The former Independent Newspaper, The Point Newspaper and Citizen FM Radio among others said the new administration needs to expand the democratic space.
The veteran journalist blamed the former president for creating the situation that made it necessary for the sub-regional bloc to deploy troops to the country, saying the troops should handover to the Gambian forces once the mission is accomplished.
“Today is another day in the history of The Gambia,” Foday Gassama, UDP West Coast Regional Mobiliser said.
Gassama explained how Gambians went to the polls to decide the political destiny of the country, saying it is constitutional mandate. He called on the new government to restore democracy, rule of law and human rights. He further called for national reconciliation.
“The past 22 years people have suffered arbitrary arrests and detention without trial. This is crime against humanity. I hope the new government will deliver as expected from them,” he added.
Mariama Camara, a jubilant supporter of the coalition government was singing and dancing at the airport. She has challenged every Gambians to be at the airport to welcome the president. She said nobody should miss the occasion.
“We want President Barrow to continue the free girl’s education initiative” she said.
Meanwhile, the president was given a befitting welcome by well wishers, supporters and sympathizers all over the place.