L-R Barrow and Buhari during a thank you visit

L-R Barrow and Buhari during a thank you visit

Barrow Thanks Buhari, One Year After Intervention


Gambian President, Adama Barrow was sworn-in on January 19th 2017 after a prolonged political impasse between the elected President, Barrow and defeated long-time ruler, Yahaya Jammeh.

The intervention of Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari helped in the eventual ouster of Jammeh.

One year after, on January 16th, 2018, the Gambian President visited Buhari to say “Thank You”. Barrow said a single statement made by President Muhammadu Buhari “changed everything” during the political impasse in the small West African country.

Mr. Barrow as an opposition candidate ended the 22-year reign of Jammeh in the presidential election of December 2016.

Barrow won 54.54 percent ( 263,515 votes) while the former president’s scored 36.66 ( 212,099 votes).

Mr. Jammeh at first accepted defeat and congratulated Mr. Barrow but later, in a televised address to the country, rejected the outcome of the election and called for fresh one to be conducted by a “God-fearing and independent electoral commission.”

The decision by Mr. Jammeh led to a political crisis which forced the intervention of regional leaders.

Mr. Barrow, who visited Mr. Buhari on Tuesday, said while addressing State House correspondents that during a meeting in Mali “he (Buhari) took a decision as a leader in a closed door meeting, he made one statement that changed everything: that if The Gambian President wants to challenge the sub-region, he is welcome”.

“This was his words and that made a big difference as a leader. And that leadership role was very important not just for The Gambians but for Africa, because the problem was an African problem with an African solution”.

Mr. Barrow said his visit to Nigeria was very important to Gambians.

“We have always wanted to say thank you when Nigeria gave us all the support during and after the impasse. Nigeria has been supporting The Gambia for a long time in different areas like technical assistance in the area of education, judiciary. We are really happy to come,” he said.

Mr. Barrow said his visit was simply to thank Mr. Buhari for his support, saying it is a tradition in Gambia that “if you want to thank a farmer for a good job, you have to visit him at his farm and that is why we are here”.

On the “deal” entered with the former President that made him eventually leave office, Mr. Jammeh said it was fostered through ECOWAS, the UNDP and the international community.

“Nigeria was involved and Liberia as the chair was involved, the Guinean President and the Mauritanian President were also involved. The Guinean President and the Mauritanian President were physically on the ground, for him to accept the will of the people, exit to allow us assume office.

“This was the deal, he accepted to go on exile which we couldn’t guarantee his security. This was the deal,” he said.

Mr. Buhari also responded to a question from a Gambian journalist on the role that Nigeria will continue to play to help The Gambia overcome some of the reforms it is undertaking such as in security.

The Nigerian president said the regional body did its best “in the most critical time” adding that “hopefully now the president will raise his team and we will raise a corresponding team and we will sit together and see how we can draw a political programme that will complement each other’s effort on development. So this is the next line we are going.”


Editorial Chief, Nigerian Bureau

Kings UBA is a Nigerian journalist and writer. I have reported for major local and international news organisations. I write satire. In 2017, I started contributing stories primarily to Discover Africa News Network. I can be reached on editorkingsuba@gmail.com. I currently manage Discover Africa News social media handles