*Its a new dawn, as political prisoners gain freedom
Winner of the 1st December 2016 General Election, Adama Barrow, has been officially sworn-in on Gambian soil as the President of the tiny west African nation that had been embroiled in a succession crisis.
It is the second time Mr Barrow has taken the oath of office. The first time was at very low-key event at the country’s embassy in Senegal last month, after a lengthy power struggle forced him into exile.
After his predecessor, Yahya Jammeh, finally agreed to step down, Mr Barrow was able to arrange a stadium event back in his homeland, near the capital city of Banjul.
Crowds queued through the night to get a good spot inside the stadium. Brass bands played with flags waved in anticipation of the monumental political development.
Mr Barrow is only the third president in the history of The Gambia. The celebrations also mark 52 years of the west African country’s political independence.
Yahya Jammeh was voted out in December at the General election. He conceded victory only to renege after a while. He only agreed to step aside when the regional powers under the aegis of ECOWAS sent in troops ready to forcibly remove him from office. He has since fled to Equatorial Guinea on political exile.
Mr Barrow has promised a new dawn for the country, which Mr Jammeh had ruled with an iron fist.
Many political prisoners have already been freed and The Gambia is set to rejoin international institutions such as the International Criminal Court and the Commonwealth.
Mr Barrow, a successful property developer who has never held public office, defied the odds to contest the election which he eventually won.
Mr Barrow said that Gambians “had been suffering for 22 years” and were ready for change.