Barrow extends olive branch

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By Omar Bah

President Adama Barrow has used his state of the nation address to make fresh calls for national unity, pleading with Gambians to join his government in the healing, reconciliation and reconstruction process.

“Let us unite as a nation, and work together as a people; primarily, as brothers and sisters in a family.

We must not allow politics or any worldly affair to separate us.

We are all human beings and Gambians first, before anything else.

As we look forward to the Third Republic, my government has sown the seeds of success for the rebirth of The Gambia and I pray that Allah helps us all the way to achieve our noble goals,” he said.

President Barrow commended the entire nation and partners for their support, which he said, has been excellent.

“To the Assembly, on behalf of every Gambian, I thank all of you most sincerely for all the sittings and decisions of the last legislative year.

We appreciate your work, and will never stop inviting you to work with us.

In a democracy, we cannot expect agreement in every debate; nevertheless, I urge you to engage more in dialogue than in confrontation.

I pray that we have more peaceful and successful sessions this year,” he added.

However, the Gambian leader raised concern over recent violent attacks on government officials fighting crime in the country, such as the Assistant Police Commissioner and Head of the Police Anti-Crime, and arson attacks on his family home, the Bakoteh Police Station and within the Serekunda market area.

“We are aware of the important role of the media in society, particularly social media and its influence on our lives. Let us maximize the benefits that social media forums to avail us to educate and keep the people informed. As citizens, we must not create hatred amongst ourselves,” he added.

President Barrow said the “Never Again” slogan comes with a big responsibility for both citizens and government.

“Therefore, let us guard the peace we have, as peace is priceless, and stability is the bedrock of development and progress. We are one people, one Gambia for peace, progress and national development,” he noted.

The Gambian leader announced his government will table the anti-corruption bill at the National Assembly before the year ends.

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The bill will seek to establish the anti-corruption commission, and to provide effective measures for eradication, suppression and prevention of corrupt practices in both private and public life in The Gambia.