‘I’m Not An Accidental President’

President Barrow: I’m not an accidental President! I earn it!

Gambian leader has brushed aside the notion that he becomes President by accident.

“I’m not an accidental President,” President Adama Barrow tells France 24 television. Prior to contesting the elections in December last year, President Barrow had gone through the nomination processes of his party (United Democratic Party) and opposition alliance convention.

“At my own party level three people applied and contested for the presidential nomination. Twenty-two of the twenty-six delegates voted for me,” President Barrow adds.

“At the alliance level eight parties came together, four candidates contested and I won the convention. I scored 308 votes while the second person got 72 votes,” Barrow says, proving a point that he is definitely “not an accidental President.”

Mr. Barrow is asked whether the Gambia and Senegal contemplate on forming a future confederation. He answered in the negative. “The two neighbouring countries’ people are the same,” he says, describing Senegal and the Gambia as “true friends.”

President Barrow, who wraps up a tour in France and Belgium, goes home with positive message. He remains grateful to French President François Hollande for the invitation as well as demonstration of commitment to suppirting the Gambia, a country that has just broken the shackles of 22 years of dictatorship.

President Barrow dispels existence of cracks within his governing coalition government. “The coalition is in tact,” he says. “The parties formed Tactical Alliance to contest in the April 6th National Assembly election. The coalition is not a political party which means candidates will have to resign from their parties to contest. If everyone resigns from their parties, who is going to run the parties?”

Barrow touts the possibility of putting in place the Truth and Reconciliation Commission to get to the bottom of the Jammeh regime’s atrocities, although 18 people have so far been in custody. He adds that all necessary measures, including seizure of foreign assets, will be applied to recover the Gambia’s looted wealth. President Barrow’s predecessor has left behind an empty coffer. So far, over 4 billion Dalasis have been withdrawn from state institutions. Investigations into the Jammeh regime’s financial malfeasance continues.



  1. The pride in THE REPUBLIC OF THE GAMBIA(The Smiling Coast) must be preserved and protected by all means. Gambia is a fully independent country from British colonial rule and a peaceful country as well. The Gambia’s distinguished values must be cherished and upheld.
    Long live the ECOWAS!
    Long live the Republic of the Gambia!

    • This comment indeed is meant to respond to the article- The French President Admires……Change in the Gambia.

  2. You are definitely not an accidental president. You earned the right to be the President of the Gambia, on an independent non partisan alliance and you must not betray the trust and confidence of your alliance partners, no matter who whispers what in your ears.

    You and all your alliance partners were very much aware of the constitutional term of the President, but you all agreed to a THREE year Transition Term. You, in particular, gave your word and that of your party, that you will abide by the MOU when you signed it on their behalf.

    You come across as a trustworthy man of honour and it will be a huge disappointment for many, if you were to go back on your word. Discuss and resolve the three year term with your partners, if you need more time. That is a more honourable and fitting approach to resolving this issue, than what some are indicating, even before the indelible ink is washed off our thumbs.

  3. Bax , I think it is too early to be alarming because the dust did not settle yet . You must remember that there so much to be done within 3 years . Let’s hope and pray that there is unity of purpose to fundamentally change the country for the future. Don’t be too obsessive with coalition National Assembly members. Remember that there is need to have true democracy by allowing tactical alliance to get things done in Banjul.

    • You cannot fail to notice that the “tactic alliance” has collapsed. So stop pretending. Be brave and admit the obvious: that someone has not been honest with the Gambian people.

      • Tactical alliance failed because Halifa Sallah has never been honest to Gambians about his true intentions. He was against it because it did not favor him politically. He and OJ are making noise because they didn’t have their way . They are now blaming UDP and lawyer Darboe for their failure. I cannot understand the hypocrisy of some Gambians who are now considering Halifa and OJ as heroes when the real heroes have put their lives for the country . These are two politicians who refused to fight for the people when the country need them most . In fact OJ’s Daughter said her father should never protest during the peaceful protest while Halifa blamed the protesters. During the 23 years of military dictatorship, there was no single member of PDOIS who was arrrested , tortured , killed or even exiled . Halifa Sallah was playing safe politics . The only time he was arrrsted was when he talked about witch hunting as he investigated the cases. If Gambians rely on his letter writing , Yaya would still be in power . In fact his letters served as an ” unsolicited advise ” to the tyrant at the time, and which was why he was very careful not to offend Jammeh.
        Why he is so obsessive with coalition? He needs not to consider himself as a spokesman because we already instituted the government. There is information minister and director of press . He can only speak for himself and his party . I do not consider him as a spokesman since the president was installed. He is currently an adviser on good governance.

  4. The political parties can’t backtrack on unanimous Coalition Agreement (MOU) for the “agreed 3 years” Transitional Period negotiated, paving the way for our collective liberation & ultimate freedom from perpetual kanilai killer barbarities; it’s not possible for one government in a single term to overturn the 22 years of manipulative kanilai savagery, much more in 3 years; the work is progressive…

    However this Coalition Agreement is contrarily contravenes the current distorted kanilai gazetted version being referred to as “Constitution” which was manipulations for dictatorship entrenchments…

    Also not being helpful by the use of the very same discriminatory so-called Constitution by the same Coalition bedfellows to undermine one another to gain advantages &/ impede the other, etc…

    After the parliamentary elections the parties must get down to grip with reality on the ground & get down to business as never before; to start the much needed but delayed surmountable Nation building task awaiting….

    The amendment of the current version of Constitution to enable morally & academically qualified citizens to serve in all positions without hindrances & the accommodation for the Agreed Coalition Transition period should be amongst the firsts of tasks; alongside the much urgent Truth & Reconciliation to be commissioned…

    The current bickering is expected as it’s always “business as usual” in politics; especially when & where there’re different political parties involved as competitors against one another…

    What’s definite is, the Coalition government situation must improve after the parliamentary elections for any meaningful development to be embark upon…

    Long live the Gambia…

  5. Max…

    A coward of the ancient past is the who lacks the courage to pick up a weapon and shed blood or waste life. Today, it is one who lacks the courage to say the truth, regardless of who is affected.

    Unfortunately Max, you have shown that you are a coward by your opening statements above, which are the only ones relevant to the subjects under discussion today. The rest of your response is just pure nonsense which has no bearing on the failure of the coalition to collaborate in the NA elections.

    I have told you before that you have no view outside of the UDP’s positions, and you have confirmed that here. The truth behind the failure to adopt a single strategy for the NA elections is gradually becoming clear. Contrary to your lies, Halifa and PDOIS did not oppose tactical alliance, though their preferred strategy was the independent option.

    The failure of the tactical alliance was one party’s insistence to put so many candidates forward, that if their candidates all win (which is most likely if the alliance support single candidates), they will control the two thirds majority in the Assembly. The partners held several meetings to resolve this issue, but this one party, as usual, wouldn’t compromise on their demand.

    It is quite obvious that where the GMC is putting up a candidate or candidates (we will know when final list of candidates is published) against the UDP for the same seat, and even protesting the qualification of the UDP candidate, only those who are cowards will point a finger at Halifa or OJ, rather than at the real culprits, and you have shown yourself to be one such coward.