On Wednesday February 18, the nation will mark 50 years of independence. This day is significant and will perhaps be played out in a spectacular fashion by Gambians from all walks of life. I am aware that Gambians will converge on the Independence Stadium and diverse places to commemorate the day. For me, this day should be used to redirect the future of this great country. A lot of responsibility lies on us to make sure we use this day to prepare for the future. I must say that the willingness to ensure that The Gambia finally becomes great is a collective task that everyone has to play their part to ensure it is achieved.
It begins with me, it begins with you. It begins with us educating the person next to us on the need to ensure that we continue to unite against all forms of manipulation and coercion by some selfish and self-serving set of individuals, their godfathers or financiers or their supporters. It may seem a herculean task but we have to ensure that we preach the gospel of a united Gambia. Gambians need to be oriented on the need to play our part to ensure that our development effort truly reveals the yearnings and aspirations of all Gambians.
Most importantly, the fact that The Gambia has registered significant gains in all sectors cannot be over-emphasised. It will at this point be fair to pay homage to our leaders both present and past who have been saddled with the sacred duty of transforming our country. Both the Jawara and Jammeh administrations have played their parts in this journey and I must commend them all. Even though, there have been some difficulties, it is in our interest to concentrate on the positive side for the sake of unity.
There are two important virtues that we must all continue to uphold if we all want to play our part well in the development effort of our dear motherland. First, patriotism is very important and we must not allow ourselves to be manipulated and dragged along selfish lines. Second, discipline is also an important virtue that Gambians should uphold being aware that whatever role we play, history would never forget us. We should be prepared because the love for our country should rank high. God bless The Gambia.
President Jammeh: the women’s champion
I have been following the president’s progress in the area of women empowerment for quite a while now. To some, my reason for doing so may not be far-fetched because I am a woman. While that may account for part of my interest, it is beyond that. I found that our past government hardly involved women, so I was a bit curious about what successive governments would do to change the situation. So far, President Jammeh has done great for the Gambian woman. As a woman, this is encouraging because it tells me that our leader is a man who understands that in any nation and any government, women also have key roles to play in improving the lifestyle of their people and governance in their nation. Several news media have carried reports on the increasing level of women empowerment in The Gambia; this is to the president’s credit. Under this administration, women in The Gambia have achieved an impressive level of participation in our socio-economic life. Even more encouraging is that this achievement has extended towards politics as well. More and more women are getting involved in politics these days. We have more women aspiring for public office and even more women actively forming a remarkable body of the electorate. More women lobbyists and activists are springing up too and giving expression to the needs of the people.
On the side of governance, the government has ensured the entrenchment of awareness among women on the possibilities that lie ahead of them in active participation in politics and governance.
To the best of my understanding, Jammeh has not empowered women thus far because he is canvassing for our votes. We have a leader who has displayed faith in Gambian women; and Gambian women have delivered. If ever I was proud to be a Gambian woman, it is at this time. This is commendable indeed!