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Saturday, July 31, 2021

HALIFA WARNS ‘GAMBIA CANNOT AFFORD CIVIL UNREST’

By Omar Bah

The Secretary General of the People’s Democratic Organisation for Independence and Socialism has issued a strong warning to Gambians that the country cannot afford civil unrest being surrounded by Senegal.

“This country cannot afford Gambians fighting each other because if we do, we will lose The Gambia to either the Casamance province of Senegal on the south or the other part of Senegal in the north. So The Gambia is the epicenter of war or peace for these two sides. If we go to war with ourselves, our neighbours in the North and South will be dragged into it and we will lose The Gambia,” he warned.

Halifa Sallah made these remarks on Wednesday during a national dialogue among the security forces, youths and other stakeholders organised by the National Council for Civic Education and partners held at Metzy hotel.

He continued: “All of us own this country and our sovereignty resides in each of us and that is why we have the vote to symbolize our sovereign power equal to everybody else irrespective of our languages, religion, ethnic orientation or birth.”

The Serekunda National Assembly Member further said: “We are all equal in this sovereignty.  It is all of us together that constitute the majority and that is the education we should receive 56 years ago but we didn’t receive it and until today, we have not received that education and that is the source of instability, violence and insecurity.”

The challenge now, the veteran politician added, “is to fast-track that education so that each of us will know that power resides in us and we can change the executive by simply marching to the ballot box to vote and turn our back. That is the most peaceful way to change a government and all of us should be convinced of that. All of us must know that every government has a policy and before you vote, you should know about it because if you vote without taking due consideration, that is risky.”

The lawmaker said the 2016 election cannot be compared with that of 2021.

“Prior to the presidential election in 2016 lives have disappeared and insults based on ethnic loyalty filled the air. Most Gambians were anticipating national confrontation and disintegration of this country and ambassadors, the international community, and the media believed that. It is the Gambians who saved themselves and you should be proud yourselves. Those who are afraid to face their past, present, and future cannot be architects of their own destiny. We must face our past, present, and future. We are here to interrogate the past and present in order to save the future,” he told the forum.

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