By Lamin Cham
President Adama Barrow has said this year’s elections, slated for December 4, provides an opportunity for all Gambians to display political prudence and discipline, bound by democratic values.
He exhorted that the time has come “for us to courageously look into the future with optimism, accept one another, patch up our differences, and find ways of working together in the national interest”.
Addressing a low-keyed 56th independence anniversary celebrations in Banjul yesterday the president warned that partisan politics and conflict have pulled people apart and undermined the power and glory of nations.
“The lesson is that the law guarantees the mandate of governments and the rights of the people, and therefore, let us work together to achieve our development goals and desire for national unity,” the president said.
He further stated that his government has been prepared adequately by the experience gathered over the past years to meet expectations.
“As always, I plead for national unity, reconciliation and tolerance. The true Gambian nature is marked by warmth, sympathy, generosity and willingness to support one another. Let us apply these values wherever we may be.
For the good of all, we need to give a new meaning to national independence through our relationships, interactions and service to the nation within the framework of good governance, speedy development and peaceful coexistence,” President Barrow said.
“My mandate as president compels me to focus on the national picture in whatever we do, while being mindful of the concerns of the individuals, communities and diverse groups that form our society. As a result, my administration believes that we should have smart citizens who are soundly educated, sufficiently enlightened, duly exposed, relevantly experienced and adequately empowered with the necessary expertise and skills to constitute a quality human resource base for development. Education will continue, to be a national priority, and opportunities will remain endless for all children and youths to exploit,” he said
Barrow said his government’s target is to maintain a robust education system.
“Reject drugs, crime, ethnic rivalry and all vices that are harmful and obstacles to your well being and those around you. Condemn violence and division, embrace the nation, and strive to be useful and law-abiding patriots. The future is for you to shape, and now is the time to think about how you want to live in it. Getting it right today means succeeding tomorrow,” the president told the young children who lined up to march alongside members of the security forces. He concluded by thanking The Gambia’s international friends and partners for supporting the development and welfare of Gambians and reminded them of the health regulations regarding the raging Covid-19 pandemic.