Gambia’s new President Adama Barrow has reiterated his absolute commitment to stick on the three years mandate in office as agreed by the Coalition.
According to him, after the three years, if the job is not complete within the period, it would be left to the Coalition to decided either for him to continue or otherwise.
President Barrow made the revelation on Saturday at his first Press Conference after returning home from Senegal where he was sworn-in following the political impasse that prevented him from taking the oath on Gambian soil.
Mr Barrow said he will announce his cabinet ministers to the general public either on Monday or Tuesday, the only way to keep the ball rolling. He said they already got few names to fill the positions of the Cabinet.
He also announced that he would change the working hours and days to the normal five working days instead of four which was instituted by the former government. He said jobs will be created for the youths and said it would create jobs for the youths, saying they would also look into wrongful dismissal of the past government.
Asked if he heard from former President Jammeh since he left the country into exile in Equatorial Guinea, Barrow said: “I have not heard from Jammeh since he left. We could not guarantee his security that is why we asked him to leave”.
Talking about the appointment of Madam Fatoumatta Tambajang-Jallow as Vice President, he said she has met the Constitutional age limit to take the position. “We believed the appointment of the vice president has fallen within the Constitution. She will show her official age with authentic documents,” he pointed out.
President Barrow further highlighted his government’s immediate plan to reform the dreaded and feared National Intelligence Agency (NIA) saying the agency needs reformation as it is an institution which is part of the government. He said they would change the name of the institution and train the personnel to be professionals contrary to what they are today.
On government-media relations and freedom of the press, the Gambian leader says under his administration, the media will ever be free and government friendly. He said the role of the media is important in informing and educating the public and to avoid any speculations. He promised to look into the media bill and as well make some amendments.
President Barrow further said his government would consider to reopening the businesses and media houses that were shut down by the previous government.
He also spoke about the independence of the judiciary, saying there would be more Gambians at the top of the judiciary but would also welcome expertise whenever necessary. He also assured that the Gambia would remain in the International Criminal Court which former President Yahya Jammeh unilaterally pulled out the country from been a member.
“I don’t think the Gambia will leave the ICC. If we are talking about democracy, rule of law and human rights, this is exactly what ICC is advocating for. So, why should Gambia be afraid to join,” he said.
President Barrow however, spoke further on his government’s relation with Senegalese government saying they will do everything possible to ensure a cordial relation. He dilated on the geographical, religious, family and ethnic ties Gambia has with Senegal. He promised to consider the Yelli Tenda/Bamba Tenda Bridge at Farafenni and expressed hope that the best will be done.
“We are willing to work with the Senegalese government to resolve the crisis in the Cassamance region,” he pointed out.