President Adama Barrow of the Gambia Wednesday received the 40 members of the Nigerian Armed Forces who are conducting research on post conflict peace building in the Gambia and lessons for Nigeria.
Speaking at the meeting, Rear Admiral A. A. Osinowo, commander, course 26 of Nigerian Defence College, said they have observed the complexity and loyalty of the Gambia Armed Forces (GAF) to foster peace after the presidential election for the political class to enjoy stability.
He also expressed appreciation for the Gambia and ECOWAS for looking inward to find possible solutions to local problems.
Rear Admiral Osinowo said there would be challenges during the next phase of peace building in the Gambia, and he emphasised that GAF has an important role to play in the decisions to move the Gambia to greater height and in the realisation of the will of the Gambian people for socio-economic development.
Introducing the delegation, the deputy chief of Defence Staff, Major General Yankuba Drammeh, expressed gratitude and assured President Barrow of GAF’s commitment to maintain peace and stability in the country.
He recognised the importance of the Nigerian Defence College in impacting knowledge and skills in the military.
For his part, President Barrow said Africa is taking the right direction towards democracy and thanked the ECOWAS block for its support in maintaining peace and democracy in the Gambia. He reiterated his appreciation for the leadership role that Nigeria took during the impasse and for its important role in nurturing democracy in the sub-region.
The president advised the security forces to learn from the direction the world is heading and assured them of the political support for them to succeed in their career. He also urged them to maintain the spirit of unity, as the Gambia is known for peace, and added that having won the war; they must all fight to maintain the peace.
Meanwhile, the ECOMIG commander, Colonel Magette Ndiaye, took leave of President Barrow at the end of his tour of duty in the Gambia.
He briefed the president on his mission and thanked the government for its cooperation. Colonel Ndaiye informed the Gambian leader about his observations and said the Gambia Armed Forces conducted its duties with professionalism.
President Barrow thanked him for his service with the ECOMIG team and their contribution in maintaining peace and stability in the country. He reiterated the strong ties between the Gambia and Senegal and called for continued collaboration and support, and added that GAF could learn from the experience of its colleagues.