Gambian President, Adama Barow has lauded the Economic Community of West African States troops in Gambia, particularly the Nigeria troops for their show of professionalism and regional integration during the peak of Gambian political impasse.
The President said the choice of the National Defence College to embark on study tour to selected West African Countries was a noble initiative to strengthen regional cooperation and intellectual capacity development for respective armed forces.
The President made these remarks at the Gambian State House when the Commandant National Defence College, Rear Admiral Adeniyi Osinowo led participants of Course 26 to pay a courtesy call on the President.
The Regional Study Tour for participants of the National Defence College Course 26 was painstakingly planned and executed to achieve the academic objectives scheduled for the college.
The selected countries selectedfor the National Defence College for this year’s regional study tour include the Gambia, Senegal, Equatorial Guinea, Burkina Faso and Niger.
Similarly, the President of Gambia professed that his visit to Nigeria recently was on a thank you visit to President Muhammadu Buhari and the entire Nigeria Nation for the major role Nigeria played in the political stability of Gambian transitional chaos.
The President of Gambia reiterated that no nation can function adequately without security.
He classified the visit of the National Defence College to Gambia as a vote of security confidence.
President Adama added that the visit was an avenue for both countries to build intellectual capacity on crisis management and it is a good venture for ECOWAS peaceful co-existence.
He emphasized that if you win a war, you have to tow the path of peace, capacity building and uniting the contending forces.
Relatively, the Nigerian Ambassador to Gambia, Ambassador Oluwasegun Ibidapo-Obe revealed that Nigeria has been a source of succour to the Gambia in terms of capacity development and technical assistance.
He disclosed this when the Commandant National Defence College paid him a courtesy call in the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in Gambia.
The Ambassador narrated the Gambian Investment plan and analyzed that the Gambia as a country has a total of 11 financial institutions and out of these, 6 are Nigerian driven.
These Nigerian driven banks include; Eco Bank, Standard Chartered Bank, Guarantee Trust Bank, Skye Bank, First Bank amongst others. It is therefore deduced that Nigeria plays a pivotal role in the economy of Gambia.
Also, the Deputy Chief of Defence Staff Gambian Armed Forces, Major General Yankuba Drammeh while giving his remarks welcomed the Commandant, National Defence College, Faculty members as well as the 28 participants of course 26.
The Deputy Chief of Defence Staff acknowledged the fact that the theme of the Study Tour designated for the team which visited Gambian was apt and timely.
He said the theme of the tour is “post conflict, peace building and national security in the Gambian: lessons for Nigeria” was considered significant owing to the fact that the team must have been informed by the necessities drawing from the political impasse, the country witnessed recently.
According to Drammeh, “in the history of Gambian as a nation, she has never been gripped by anxiety and fear that provoked mass exodus of people during the past political chaos”.
He further reiterated that the mass movement of people in Gambia was precipitated by the aftermath of the political impasse.
But, he disclosed that “the resolve and firm commitment of Gambia as a nation couple with deep rooted culture of tolerance and perseverance, calm disposition and mutual understanding of the people led to the settlement of the impasse”
The Deputy Chief of Defence Staff of the Gambian Armed Forces, equally commended the efforts of the timely intervention of the ECOWAS troops especially, the Nigeria troops during the Gambian Political impasse.
General Drammeh commended the Nigeria Contingent especially the Special Boat Services (Special Forces) of the Nigerian Navy for their professionalism and exhibition of gallantry.
He also asserted that “the Gambians were able to overcome the political crisis in a more peaceful manner because the Gambians hardly distinguish between groups belonging to specific tribes or a specific indicator”.
He said the country tried to promote mutual co-existence among citizens which played a pivotal role in the success of the political imbroglio.
He concluded that “the shared commitment and determination as well as the medley of regional security cooperation ushered Gambian as a nation into a new worthy dispensation.
The Commandant, National Defence College, Rear Admiral Adeniyi Osinowo, while delivering his remarks, thanked the good people of Gambia for their effusive reception.
He reiterated that the success recorded in the past 15 months or thereabout of the political impasse in Gambia was attributed to the discipline and loyalty of the Gambia Armed Forces by not taking advantage of the crisis to usurp power in Gambia.
He added that the populace of Gambia did not equally cash on the political crisis to demonstrate breakdown of law and order in the country.
Lastly, he said successes were recorded during the political impasse due to the manner the political elites were able to handle the differences, taking into cognizance the peaceful disposition of the populace.
The Commandant National Defence College, further said that the Gambian experience shows that associated problems within the West African Region could be solved locally, at the National scene and at regional level without western intervention.
Relatively, the Commandant said problems within the region could be solved through ECOMIG intervention as it is envisaged.
Consequently, Rear Admiral Osinowo emphasized that amidst the recorded successes in the Gambian political imbroglio, there are some challenges.
These challenges he mentioned were infrastructural development for economic, social and youth development, security sustenance for post conflict peace building era and pacification of stakeholders.
College Public Relations Officer.
The Commandant National Defence College Rear Admiral Adeniyi Osinowo presenting a souvenir to the President of Gambia His Excellency Adama Barow during NDC Course 26 Study Tour to Gambia
A group Photograph to mark the visit of the Commandant NDC to the President of Gambia His Excellency Adama Barow during NDC Course 26 Study Tour to Gambia