President Adama Barrow has made a groundbreaking decision to renounce the title of “Alhaji” he had acquired at the end of the Hajj. Barrow informed the public barely 24 hours after returning from his performing pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia.
President Barrow’s office broke the news to the general public “that His Excellency the President does not intend to adopt the title of Alhaji following the completion of the Hajj rites.”
Gambian leader arrived in Banjul on Wednesday after the completion of Hajj rites. Among the Presidential delegation were his two wives, First Lady Fatou Bah and Lady Sarjo Mballow, Chief Justice, Hassan B Jallow, Foreign Affairs Minister, Ousianou Darbo, Interior Minister, Mai Ahmad Fatty and Tourism Minister, Hamat Bah.
According to a statement, President Barrow “should continue to be addressed as His Excellency Adama Barrow as inscribed on the official portrait.”
The move — unthinkable in title obsessed Yahya Jammeh’ Gambia — took many Gambians by surprise. Dictator Jammeh would not hesitate to reprimand or jail anyone who for not mentioning all of his conferred titles. The man who came to power with only a Lieutenant in 1994 ended up being officially called His Excellency Sheikh Professor Alhaji Dr. Yahya AJJ Jammeh.
In June 2015, Jammeh defied all logics in adding another title to his kilometric name. “Babiili Mansa” meaning “Builder of River Bridge” was added to Jammeh’sMbenga long list of titles.
Yahya Jammeh lost to Adama Barrow on December 1st 2016 Presidential elections. He was forced by the regional bloc ECOWAS to relinquish power after he had dramatically took back his words. Yahya Jammeh now lives in exile in Equatorial Guinea.