In his first address to the newly opened national assembly, Gambia’s new president Adama Barrow has called on citizens to trust the new regime which has “Gambianised” the judiciary and confined the military to the barracks.
President Adama Barrow said on Monday that his government has released over 500 prisoners including political and reformed inmates after an overhaul of the judicial system.
“Over 500 prisoners have been pardoned and we have delivered on our promise to decongest prisons by releasing political and other deserving reformed prisoners … our judiciary has been ‘Gambianised’ with the appointment of a Gambian Chief Justice and six Superior Court justices,” he said.
Barrow added that Gambians should cherish the spirit of unity that came after last December’s election and help build the New Gambia without fear.
Gone are the days of armed security personnel representing the face of government. The Gambian Armed Forces are now confined to their military barracks … the armed forces are now disengaged from civilian matters.
“Gone are the days of armed security personnel representing the face of government. The Gambian Armed Forces are now confined to their military barracks. Members of the former State Guard Battalion have been redeployed to other units, and the armed forces are now disengaged from civilian matters,” he said while applauding the military for accepting the new order.
“It is also important to note that arms and ammunitions have been stored in safe locations,” he added.
Adama Barrow acknowledged the achievements of his government including press freedom, transparency and international partnerships to help build the agriculture, health, energy and educational sectors.
“You have elected the government that you want … We have thus begun the task of steadily reforming the government machinery so it can do the work of nation building and help strengthen our new found democracy that we have wanted for so long”.
He praised his new government for doing well in the first few months in office and acknowledged the huge task ahead of them.
“Our immediate priority is to fix the continuous energy problem as well as the broken economy, unify the nation, improve health and agricultural sub-sectors, end the country’s isolation and introduce robust institutional, electoral and constitutional reforms in line with our new democratic principles that will respond to the realities of our time,” he said.
Former President Yahya Jammeh refused to accept the results of the December 1, 2016 polls after he lost to Adama Barrow. It took the efforts of Guniea’s Alpha Conde and Mauritania’s Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz to convince Jammeh to leave the country after series of failed mediations.