(JollofNews) – President Adama Barrow has vowed to prove all his opponents wrong with his groundbreaking development projects, adding that the Basse project is just the beginning of many more upsets to come for his doubters.

“I want the media to capture all what is unfolding here clearly, because I know some of them are out there who will interpret things otherwise. This is why I want it to be made clear so that there will be no argument. There is a saying in {Mandinka} that if you are wrestling with a stubborn wrestler, throw him into ashes but this time I have thrown the wrestler into the fire,” Barrow told a large crowd drawn from all over the country who have gone to witness the laying of the foundation stones for the 50KM Basse-Koina road, Basse-Wuli and Fatoto-Passamas crossing, Chamoi and Suduwol bridges, respectively on Saturday.

Barro said ousting Yahya Jammeh through the ballot box has shown that Gambians are now politically aware and will not allow anyone to fool them.“I am very sure that you are following unfolding events and I am aware that you are the people who can vote presidents in and out. I want to tell you today that the mandate you give me is to work and I want to assure all of you that until my term ends, my efforts and focus will be to work for the Gambia,” he said.

He continued: “I have one of my elders who used to say that if two people are arguing about who is more beautiful in the night, just tell them to wait until day break when all will be seen clearly. What I want to tell you is that I will do in this country what Jawara and Jammeh could not do. Is not me, it is God who gave me the job and I am sure God will help me. I just want your prayers so that I can achieve the desire I have for the country. I want to end my presidency and stay here for everybody to see what I have done…which will serve as a name for me forever.”

He thanked the crowd for giving him what he described as the biggest ever welcome in the history of Basse. “No president, from Jawara to Jammeh ever got such a resounding welcome as I had here and with it you have given me strength and confidence. None of you was forced to come here. All of you came to show solidarity with me and I am saying thank you for that.”

The confident looking Barrow punched the air in a show of strength as he entered the venue to a resounding welcome by a large crowd who chanted “Wee Barrow” in their loud voices.

“This work will continue and 2019 will be a turning point in the Gambia. We will open a bridge in Farafenni where I will be attending together with [President] Macky Sall. In 2019 we will do things and do things again and again,” he noted, adding that all this cannot be possible without the support of the Gambian people.

Some members of the crowd dressed in T-shirts with the president’s picture and with the words “Barrow’s New Direction”.

The Gambian leader said the construction of the road and bridges will mark as a significant milestone in the development of URR and the entire country.

He said as the first project rolled out by his administration Gambians can expect many projects in the near future, saying he is determine to build a legacy that any other president after him will find difficult to beat.

“Growing up and living here for the most part of my life, I am a living witness to the difficulties one endures in trying to move from one part of the region to the other especially during emergency times. The project is a clear manifestation of my government’s commitment towards bridging the rural-urban development gaps,” he said.

The URR and CRR, he added, have been isolated for ages due to poor infrastructure, especially in the areas of accessing basic human needs, adding when completed the project will provide vital access to the surrounding communities.

“When completed it is possible for one to travel the entire URR in just 40 minutes. In short the project will generate greater social cohesion within communities and as well facilitate regional integration,” he added.
The Minister of Transport Bai Lamin Jobe revealed that the construction of the road would commence effective 15 December and finish on 16 April 2021, adding that the size of the road will be 10 metres with the length 47. 13 kilometres and that it will have 45 culverts.

He further noted that the road will affect certain properties because they don’t want to vandalise the electric pole, but he was quick to add that those affected will be compensated.

Meanwhile, the Chinese Ambassador to The Gambia, Ma Jianchun, said the project and bridges construction in URR is the very first major bilateral cooperation project between China and The Gambia since Barrow assumed office, adding that so far it is the biggest grant project in terms of finance scale and the first ever road infrastructure project in the history of “our bilateral relations”.

“The prompt decision and launch of the project demonstrates clearly the firm commitment of the Chinese Government to a strong relationship with The Gambia and Africa to a larger extent,” he said.

Writing by Omar Bah