By Lamin Cham
President Adama Barrow led thousands of his supporters to the IEC yesterday and after filing his papers to seek another mandate, urged the members of the electoral commission to be independent and fair arbiters.
Five years ago when he first met IEC chairman Alieu Momarr Njai on his nomination day, Mr Barrow said exactly the same words.
“There is a piece of advice that I want to make. The piece of advice is directed at the IEC. If anybody is a member of the IEC, automatically you are a referee and if you are a referee, you must be independent.
If you are independent, it makes the job easy for you. If you are independent, it makes the job easy for the players. If you are independent, it makes it very easy for all the parties to accept the final results, the final decision of the Gambian people,” Barrow said to waiting journalists yesterday.
Asked whether he will respect the election results, the president said he is a democrat, and will accept whatever Gambian people decided.
He spoke highly of his chances, thumbed up the grand coalition backing him and said the alliance with the APRC “is in the best interest of this country, reconciliation and national security”.
When asked what his priorities would be when re-elected, Barrow said: “Development. This can mean many things but I have a slogan, ‘no infrastructure, no development’. I will continue with my infrastructure development”.
Asked if he would take up the challenge of the UDP leader Ousainu Darboe and publicly declare his assets, Barrow said: “It is part of the conditions and I have declared it to the IEC. It is left to the IEC. You know we play by the rules and regulations”.
Barrow was driven in his official party vehicle with the customised number plate NPP 1.
After his nomination, the president and his multitude of supporters drove through the streets of Serekunda to the Tallinding ‘Buffer Zone’ recreational grounds for a mass rally called by the women.
“We have won already. All these people cannot be pretenders. They genuinely love the president,” one of the organisers told The Standard.