By Buba Gagigo
Mayor Rohey Malick Lowe, new REFELA Africa President has delegated her victory to President Adama Barrow, Gambia women and youth.
“Your Excellency, I dedicate this victory to you, the women and the youth of our beloved country, the Gambia. I wish to recall that I received maximum support from you and the government of the Gambia. I truly appreciate your support and that of the government. You did not relent your efforts to pull diplomatic strings to make this happen. A special thank you to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr Mamadou Tangara and the Ex-minister of Finance, Mambury Njie,” she expressed at a ceremony held at State House on Thursday.
The new REFELA President also explained how she won the election against bigger countries.
“It’s important to let you know, when the voting started, all regions voted for me including the Vice President for Central Africa, who was also interested in the position. She abandoned her interest and said to me ‘my sister, you are doing very well with REFELA in your country. I am withdrawing my candidacy and supporting you’. I have never seen where a rival will just decide to support another contestant just because she has heard that she is doing a lot in her country. With Central Africa throwing in the towel, meant that I was unanimously voted into the position of President of REFELA Africa for a term of four years,” she said.
Speaking at the ceremony, the President Adama Barrow expressed pride in the election of Mayor Lowe and also congratulated her.
“We are very proud of the newly elected (REFELA Africa President) Mayor Rohey Malick Lowe. I will seize this opportunity to congratulate Rohey Malick Lowe and her team and the entire Gambian people. On my behalf and on behalf of the government, I congratulate Rohey Malick Lowe for this rare victory.
“I think this is the first time even Gambians are knowing about REFELA. I myself, I will confess it’s when she came to me to explain about REFELA that’s the time I came to understand that this is a big thing the government should give support. That’s why personally, I give (her) my support…to make sure she succeeds because, if she succeeds, the Gambia succeeds” the president said.
The National People’s Party leader while hosting Mayor Lowe of the United Democratic Party urged Gambians to learn from the gathering and tolerate one another, despite political differences.
“Gambians should learn from this ceremony today, that we can be in different political parties, but we should see Gambia as our country. We should be sitting together, we should be discussing, we should be helping each other and we should be supporting each other. If there is no Government, there is no council. It’s because you have a government that’s why there is a council, and the council is here to complement government efforts,” the Gambia leader preached
REFELA is the acronym for the Network of Women Elected officials of subnational and local governments of Africa regroups women members of the political bodies dealing with the governance of the local authorities and governments of Africa. A 15-member executive bureau manages the network representing the South, North, Central, East, and West Africa regions. I