Breath-taking reception for tour entourage in Kombo

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Breath-taking reception for tour entourage in Kombo

2nd May 2014

After a 2-week long tour of the Gambian hinterland from the North Bank entrance coastal community of Barra, all through to the tip area of Fatoto and down to the Lower River, the Presidential Dialogue with the People tour entourage finally arrived in Banjul on Friday, 2nd May 2014, to a breath-taking carnival-like reception by Kombo and Greater Banjul Area residents.

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The delegation arrived in Kanilai, West Coast Region, in the upper week, Tuesday, 29th April 2014 to the delight of the people of Foni, who longed to meet their President while he toured the upcountry for two weeks long. They lined the entrance area of the West Coast Region, along the trans-Gambia stretch from the Lower River Region in their thousands, drumming and singing, as they made effort to accord the President a befitting welcome home.

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As usual, the Brumen Bridge at Kalagi was the converging point and it became sticky as expected when Foni and Kombo met to offer a combined force of memorable welcome to the tour delegation.

All what ensued from there to Kanilai was jubilation, cultural performances, long period of handshakes with the President and musical performance by the accompanying musician crew.

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Midweek – Wednesday and Thursday – declared break and the delegation scattered to join the rest of the country for the May Day (Workers’ Day) celebration on Thursday, May 1st 2014.

In what seemed to have been a change of schedule, the presidential tour entourage headed to Banjul on Friday but the road to the State House was painstaking for the tour team, who had to endure seemingly endless journey to the capital.

After passing by dots of crowds from the Kanilai end, who waved as the presidential convoy sped with relative ease and urgency, the convoy had to force a strolling speed, as it entered Greater Banjul Area, when thousands poured on to the highway. The long queues comprised male, female, young and old, who waved flags and hands while the presidential motorcade strolled past at number one, or pulled a complete halt in some occasions.

Many had filled commercial vehicles to join the convoy, making the traffic much more congested and slower. They drummed, sang and danced in the cars, while many more travelled the whole distance to Banjul on foot. The frontline was occupied by the ever energetic Green Youths who led the marathon-like run to the capital.

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After spending an incredible seven hours on the way from Kanilai, the convoy arrived in Banjul to a brief entertainment at the July 22nd Square. As usual Seyjo Band supplied music, inviting prominent Gambian musicians on stage to do their part.

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The tour continues from the West Coast Region before it comes down to the Greater Banjul Area.

Report by Madiba Sillah and Aji Fatou Jammeh
Courtesy of Department of Information Services

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