Section 222, Paragraph 15 of the 1997 Constitution of The Gambia provides that the President of the Republic should minimally undertake once each a year a visit to the people. For over 15 years now, the president has been consistently embarking on these tours, communicating and sharing his extraordinary dreams and vision on key issues like ‘grow what you eat and eat what you grow’. He encourages the revival of not on only hand to mouth farming but also for export, putting great emphasis on the back-to-the-land clarion call, fostering unity and peace et cetera. This is all aimed at bringing the much needed contributions for the socio-economic development of The Gambia. This year, the tour lasted 21 days with the president paying visits to places far and wide, across villages, towns and cities where he personally explored traditional and heritage sites as well as our flora and fauna, the case of their mountain climbing at Fatoto for example. The annual trip also took him to projects where the entourage were able to see for themselves the President’s plan and programmes for the country which demonstrates that he really cares about our welfare. In this regard, many projects have been largely and single handedly funded by him. Schools, hospitals, extra health care facilities, meaningful road networks, fantastic infrastructure projects, monuments…are all the result of more than 15 years of his hard work.
The president has again renewed his pledges and promises, determined more than ever before to get things done for the development of the country during the course of the dialogue at various meetings. Although the annual tour is now over, I take this opportunity to urge my fellow Gambians to continue our support to the president. Frankly, the tour offers salutary lessons which we should use to meet our challenges while working harder in order to enable the president to achieve his developmental blue prints for the country. It is incumbent upon us to give total support to him in his drive to turn the country from a net importer to food self-sufficiency by 2016. People, we do not want any iota of pessimism pertaining to this endeavor since the president has taken charge of the situation because I am of the strong belief that he had made a comprehensive assessment of the challenges ahead before the announcement of this ambition and policy. It is a tall task which might take time, but together with all hands on deck, we will realise the promise. I congratulate the Gambian people and all those in the country for the peaceful co-existence that has made the country a beacon of peace to people from all over the world .Our prayers and thoughts for the good health and long life of our visionary leader and president remains, ceaseless.
Once again, I wish to thanks the president for his sterling efforts in steering the country so brilliantly on the path to development.
By Musa Ceesay,