President Adama Barrow held two separate engagements with armed forces from the sub region, on Wednesday. In his first engagement, he met the Nigerian Ambassador to The Gambia, Oluwasegun Ibidapo-Obe who accompanied over forty members of the Nigerian Armed Forces to State House.
Rear Admiral AA Osinowo, Commander, Course 26 of Nigerian Defence College said their mission was to conduct research on the theme: Post-Conflict Peacebuilding in The Gambia – Lessons for Nigeria. He observed the complexity and loyalty of The Gambia Armed Forces to foster peace after the presidential election for the political class to enjoy stability.
He also expressed his appreciation for The Gambia and Ecowas for looking inward to find possible solutions to local problems. Rear Admiral Osinowo said there would be challenges during the next phase of peace building in The Gambia, and he emphasised that GAF has an important role to play in the decisions to move The Gambia to greater height. He concluded that GAF has an important role in the realisation of the will of the Gambian people for socio-economic development.
Introducing the delegation, Deputy Chief of Defence Staff, Major General Yankuba Drammeh, expressed his gratitude and assured President Barrow of the commitment of the GAF to maintain peace and stability in the country. He recognised the importance of the Nigerian Defence College in impacting knowledge and skills in the military. The delegation he said was on a regional tour to conduct research which he emphasised was a requirement before graduation.
In response to the courtesy call, President Barrow said Africa is taking the right direction towards democracy and thanked the Ecowas bloc for the support in maintaining peace and democracy in The Gambia. He reiterated his appreciation for the leadership Nigeria took during the impasse and for its important role in nurturing democracy in the sub-region.
The president advised the security forces to learn from the direction the world is heading and assured them of the political support for them to succeed in their career. He also urged them to maintain the spirit of unity, as The Gambia is known for peace, and added that having won the war; they must all fight to maintain the peace.
In his vote of thanks, Captain Ogushola said they learned about the various arms of government and their roles in enhancing the peace building process.
Meanwhile, the Ecomig Commander, Colonel Magette Ndiaye took leave of President Barrow at the end of his tour of duty in The Gambia. He briefed the president on his mission and thanked the government for its cooperation. Colonel Ndiaye informed the Gambian leader about his observations and said The Gambia Armed Forces conducted its duties with professionalism.
President Barrow thanked him for his service with the Ecomig team for their contribution in maintaining peace and stability in the country. He reiterated the strong ties between The Gambia and Senegal. The president called for continued collaboration and support, and added that GAF could learn from the experience of its colleagues.
Colonel Ndiaye was accompanied by Colonel Ulgence Ndure who took over from him as commander, the Deputy CDS, Yankuba Drammeh and State Guard officials at State House.