Barrow: Gambia’s tweeting President, fans surge

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Barrow: Tweeting President of Gambia

Gambia’s new president, Adama Barrow is very active in the social media, Facebook and Twitter. And he likes tweeting like Donald Trump.(https://twitter.com/adama_barrow)

He joined Twitter in December, and made his first tweet on 10 December, few days after former president Yahya Jammeh made a somersault on his recognition of the verdict of 1 December.

From about 2,000 followers at the end of last week, Barrow’s followers jumped to 12,000 today, on a day he was sworn in as the President in his country’s embassy in Dakar, capital of Senegal.

His first tweet showed he was ready to fight for the restoration of his mandate, freely given by Gambians and certified by the country’s electoral commission.

The greatest jump in his fan base was recorded today: they were only 5,000 plus this morning, but 12 hours after, they ballooned to 12,000.

His dozen or so tweets have not been about Gambia politics. He has also shown his softer side: he is an Arsenal Football Club fan and even proudly flaunts his Arsenal jersey, with the name tag, ‘President’.

On that tweet, he got close to 800 retweets, indicating that many of his fans are also Arsenal fans.

When his seven year old son Habib died, Barrow also took to Twitter and Facebook to announce the death and the burial. On Twitter, he sounded philosophical on the value of family. That tweet, curiously has now been deleted.

Just like US President-elect Donald Trump uses the Twitter to reach out to his followers, Barrow has also effectively used it to offer information, especially as Jammeh shut private radio stations in the country.

In one tweet, he debunked rumours of his death. In others, he announced that he will be relocating to Senegal and also that his swearing in ceremony will be done at the country’s embassy in Dakar.

And after he was sworn in on Thursday, his Twitter handle quickly made available the historic photograph and video of the ceremony.

Barrow was born 16 February 1965 in Mankamang Kunda, a small Jimara village near Basse.

He first attended the local Koba Kunda Primary School and then Crab Island Secondary School in Banjul before receiving a scholarship for Muslim High School.

After graduation, he worked for Alhagie Musa & Sons and rose through the ranks until he became sales manager.

Barrow then moved to London in the early 2000s, where he studied for a degree in real estate, while working as a security guard at an Argos catalogue store to finance his studies.

He is a member of the United Democratic Party (UDP). Prior to his presidential campaign, he was the treasurer of the UDP and operated a real estate agency. He established the agency, Majum Real Estate, in 2006 after returning from studies in London, England.

Perhaps taking a cue from Nigeria, seven opposition parties endorsed him as their sole candidate for the 1 December election, against veteran, Yahya Jammeh.

His victory was unexpected and no less stunned was Jammeh, who had boasted few days to the election that he was destined to remain in power for ‘billions of years’.

Barrow’s surprise victory brought Jammeh back to earth. After initially conceding defeat, he made a volte face a week later to denounce Barrow’s victory as a fraud and demand for fresh polls. Jammeh’s effort to cancel the election via the Supreme Court hit massive roadblocks as the court could not form a quorum.

Both ECOWAS and the African Union were not impressed by Jammeh’s theatrics as they pledged support to Barrow and asked Jammeh to leave office on 19 January when his term expired.


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