President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday attended the inauguration of Adama Barrow, the Gambian President, for a second term, in Banjul.
Malam Garba Shehu, the President’s media aide in a statement, said the president witnessed the event as a mark of Nigeria’s strong commitment towards the entrenchment of democracy and good governance in the Gambia and West African sub-region.
Nigeria supported the entrenchment of democracy and good governance in Gambia following the refusal of Yahya Jammeh, the former leader, to surrender power after losing an election and has remained resolute in ensuring that democracy is sustained in that country.
Jammeh only agreed to leave after the Nigerian military had made a landing in Banjul, the capital.
Shehu maintained that the presence of Buhari in Banjul for the event equally underlined the affinity between Nigeria and The Gambia.
”It indicates the value that Nigeria places on the need to strengthen democratic governance, the rule of law and promotion of fundamental human rights in our sub-region.
”It is a testament to the fact that as West Africans, our destinies are tied together, and that Nigeria will continue to offer necessary support within ECOWAS to ensure that member states adhere to these cherished democratic ideals.
”At repeated occasions, Nigeria continues to assure The Gambia of assistance through the establishment of strong bilateral economic institutions that will allow the private sectors of the two countries to collaborate in the areas of investment, manufacturing, shipping and air transportation.
”There are clear indications that The Gambia’s business environment has gained a lot of attractiveness from Nigerian enterprises.
”In addition to this, Volunteers from Nigeria’s Technical Aid Corps (TAC) scheme will soon be made available to assist The Gambia to play active parts in vital sectors, such as education, health services, rural development, justice, security, public health, infrastructure development, environment and entrepreneurship.”
The presidential aide noted that almost five years ago, on Jan. 26, 2017, The Gambia faced a difficult political crisis.
He stated that the ECOWAS, with the strong backing of the AU and the UN, intervened to restore democracy to this beautiful country.
He further revealed that the Presidential inauguration in Banjul was done in the presence of African leaders and a jubilant crowd of Gambians at the Independence Stadium, Bakau.
”The Nigerian delegation joined others in commending The Gambian President as well as the Government and people of the Republic for a peaceful election after a successful first tenure in office.”