By Lamin Cham
The deputy youth presidential adviser and key member of the National People’s Party has admitted that last Wednesday’s inauguration ceremony of President Adama Barrow was not properly organised.
Saihou Mballow’s comments on Kerr Fatou’s The Brunch came after critics and even supporters of the president lamented the relatively poor attendance and low-keyed nature of the event, graced by 8 African heads of state.
Most members of the opposition said they were not invited and the APRC faction that backed Barrow said they were only given 50 invitation cards and were not given any role in the organisation of the ceremony.
Confronted with these observations, Mr Saihou Nballow said a mistake was made when the entire organisation was left to be led by civil servants. ”Since it was a national event, it was felt that it should be organised by a body led and comprising civil servants from the Office of the Vice President among others.
The mistake was, it was not left in the hands of the NPP or its allies. The stadium would have been filled to capacity. I want to apologise to all our supporters and the nation as a whole. It could have been better. When you have eight heads of state in town everyone should have been aware of the excitement in town but that did not happen. We have to apologise,” Mr Mballow said.
However, according to Mr Nballow, President Barrow has used the occasion to put across a lot of positives in terms of his plans to heal the nation, reconcile everyone.
”He even extended a hand to the opposition to join him in running the country. That is very important and every Gambian should be proud that the country has emerged from the election in peace and harmony and a president who has declared that he is going to serve everybody, whether you support him or not,” Mballow said.