Monrovia – Gambian President, Mr. Adama Barrow has arrived in the country on a two-day official visit as guest of the Liberian government.
According to a Foreign Ministry release, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, who is also Chairperson of the Authority of ECOWAS Heads of State and Government, was on hand along with officials of government and members of the diplomatic and counselor corps to welcome the Gambian leader to Liberia.
Gambians residing in Liberia also joined in to welcome their leader, Mr. Barrow to Liberia when he landed Thursday evening at the Roberts International Airport in Unification Town, lower Margibi County. They sang and waved their country’s flag as their President seemed delighted by their presence.
Before he had disembarked his plane, which is decorated with the Gambian flag, President Sirleaf accompanied by the Chief of Protocol, Rev. Jarvis Witherspoon, walked to the steps of the aircraft to give the Gambian President a red-carpet welcome to Liberia.
Soldiers of the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL), including its military band, played both nations’ national anthems before President Sirleaf led him to inspect the troops, following which he was escorted to the Monrovia City Hall, where he was presented with the key to the City.
After receiving the keys to the City of Monrovia from Monrovia City Mayor, Mrs. Clara Doe-Mvogo.
President Barrow held a meeting with Gambian citizens residing in Liberia in the conference room of the Boulevard Palace Hotel. He later retired for the evening.
Meanwhile, on Friday, April 28, Gambian President Barrow begins his day’s activities with a meeting with Ambassadors of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) at the Boulevard Palace Hotel.
At 12 noon, the Gambian President, a devout Muslim, will say prayers at the Gurley Street Mosque following which he will come to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, President Sirleaf’s temporary office for brief tête-a-tête with the Chair of the ECOWAS Authority.
They will emerge from the tête-a-tête and engage journalists for a joint press stakeout in the Foyer of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
He departs the country later Friday evening, for Banjul, the Gambia.
Presidential elections were held in the Gambia on December 1, 2016 where surprisingly, opposition candidate Barrow defeated long-term incumbent Yahya Jammeh.
The election marked the first change of presidency in the Gambia since former president Jammeh seized power in a military coup in 1994.
Before the results were announced on December 2, Jammeh graciously conceded defeat; but a week later, on December 9, he rejected the results and called for new elections flickering a constitutional crisis.
It took extensive diplomatic efforts led by President Sirleaf, who is also Chairperson of the Authority of ECOWAS Heads of State and Government, and several African heads of state that Jammeh finally left the Gambia for Guinea Bissau on January 21, 2017 where he currently lives in exile.