I am not a dual citizen— Gambian youth minister Henry Gomez

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Henry Gomez

The nominated youths and sports minister of The Gambia due to take oath of office later today, Henry Gomez, has told The Torch that he only secures a permanent residential permit in Germany and not a dual citizen.

“I do not have a dual citizenship. I only have a permanent residential permit in Germany,” he said.

The news of Gomez appointment as a minister, in a country where people with dual nationality can’t hold such positions as per the constitution, has stirred tough debate in the social media.

Adama Barrow defeated a self-style old-school African dictator Yahya Jammeh in country’s December 1 presidential elections.

Since then the Gambian people who have been silenced for over two decades have broken their chains holding their new president to account on all his moves considered to be unconstitutional.

Henry Gomez shows up on Gambia’s political scene on January first 2004 and on April 2, he formed his own party, Gambia Party for Democracy and Progress.

This was quite a career spring for a man whose preoccupation until 2004 was how to make much money, business.

Henry was Born in No 12 Picton Street, Banjul on Dec. 3, 1963.

On August 13, 1986 he travelled to Germany where he has established himself as a businessman after a temporal stop in France.

Henry worked in a sanitary company in Germany that cleans sub-ways and offices but it would not take long before he progressed into being an employer from being an employee.

That reality came in 1996, when he established his own cleaning company call the Gomez Cleaning Company. He expanded the company in 2001 and changed its name to Magom Cleaning Company.

“It currently employs 100 people, most of whom are blacks,” he said.

Though he was a late comer into politics in Gambia compared to the leading political figures in the coalition that toppled Yahya Jammeh, Henry has had a good following from Gambian youths.

His most popular political slogan: ebaay yeh baloo, a Mandinka phrase for equality among people has rocked the small nation in 2011 when he joined a coalition call the United Front.

A big fan of Nigerian movies, music and football, Henry has also joined a UDP-led coalition in 2006 after he was disqualified by the electoral authorities for not being resident in the country within the preceding 5 years.

Henry who resides in New Jeshwang with his mother is the only politician from his family. He was brought up in a family of 8: 3 girls and 5 boys.

“I hate oppression, that is why I got into politics… I want to fight for the voiceless,” he said.

Henry has temporarily stayed in Basse with his father after he was posted there as a Mechanical Superintendent at the Public Works Department.

He attended St Thereses Primary School and then completed his six grade exams in Basse, from where he proceeded to St Thereses Secondary School and did his form 1.

Henry later went to St Augustine High School during the days of famous Father Golf.

“I didn’t see Jammeh as a tough opponent. I see him as a coward because the playing field has never been level. He keeps running,” he said.

He was arrested briefly in 2011 but released that very day without being tortured or harassed.

He got married on January 27, 1987, to a German with whom he has two kids— boy and a girl but he also has a Gambian wife.

 

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