Three or Five Years? Gambian Protesters March On As They Want Barrow to Serve For Five Years
Thousands of protesters gathered and conducted a peaceful procession from Sting Corner to Denton Bridge on the outskirts of the capital, Banjul on Sunday.
The marchers were expressing themselves through chanting and banners which reinforce their call for President Adama Barrow to stay in power for five years.
The protest comes barely a month after the pressure group dubbed ‘Three Years Jotna’ marched to the streets of the capital City, piling pressure on their transitional leader President Adama Barrow to step down in honor of the 3 years agreement he made with the 2016 coalition stakeholders.
“President Adama Barrow is guaranteed by the Gambian constitution to serve for five years,” says Henry Gomez, youth adviser to President Barrow. “What we’ve seen here today is a clear manifestation of Gambians love for President Barrow. There’s no back way to the presidency, “Gomez said. “If you want to be the president of this country, you need to take the front way.”
Saidou Njie, a protester said President Barrow’s stepping down after 3 years will mean a betrayal of trust to Gambians. “President should not even think of stepping down because he’s going to betray us. We are here to defend him and support him all the way, so let him not even think of stepping before the five years.”
It could be recalled that seven political parties and an independent candidate united and backed the candidature of Barrow to defeat President Yahya Jammeh, one of Africa’s longest serving leaders, in a popular vote on December 2, 2016.
Just after when he was elected in 2016, President Barrow promised to serve for three years as transitional president and step down for Gambians to choose a candidate of their choice. However, he made a U-turn, saying he will instead serve for five years as guaranteed by the Constitution.
Government spokesperson Ebrima Sankareh received the petition on-behalf of the President.