Former Presidential Affairs Minister, Momodou Sabally, was the Chief Guest of Honour and Guest Speaker at two graduation ceremonies on Saturday June, 23, 2018.
During his two keynote addresses, Sabally urged the graduating students at Banjulunding Upper Basic and Senior Secondary School to become the ambassadors of peace and reconciliation in this country and beyond.
“I know that you can do it so go ahead and make the vow to choose peace and reconciliation; and to shun anger, hatred, revenge and animosity in our societies…
There can be no sustainable development without peace so let us engender the culture of tolerance and reconciliation for peaceful coexistence and harmony” he asserted, as he dueled on the theme “The Role of Youths in Peace and Reconciliation in Nation Building”
Quoting his wife who is also a poet and environmental activist, he said “young people should believe in themselves and not underrate their potential to be the catalysts for sustainable peace and genuine reconciliation in New Gambia! In her brilliant poem, “Land Grabbing,” Jai has a refrain: Have you heard of Wangari Maathai? of the Greenbelt movement and the Nobel Peace Prize? This woman of the trees says of our Blue Planet Earth: “We take what we need, not to satisfy our greed”. Oh how I wish the players in the recent Faraba incident knew the truth in this verse. The plundering and devouring of our natural endowment is one of the greatest risks to our national peace and reconciliation process today!”
Speaking on the “The Role of Youths in Nation Building”, at Brikama Secondary school in the evening of the same day, Sabally advised the graduates: “You, the youths, must not only demand nation building. You must also MAKE nation building HAPPEN. YOU must not only assert YOUR rights. You must also discharge your responsibilities.
“When you youths do the things that are required of you, then You can claim, with pride and joy, that you have done your part in nation building…
“All the statements and analyses about youths and nation building boil down to this simple fact: The actions and conducts of the majority of the youths will determine whether nation building takes place. When the majority of the youths have no respect for the law, no esteem for education, live idle lives, abdicate their responsibilities, and take no interest in public affairs, there will be little chance of nation building. On the bright side, when the majority of the youths observe the rule of law, value knowledge, live industrious lives, confront the challenges of their time, and participate in public affairs, nation building is bound to be a success!”
At each of the two schools, Sabally sponsored two prizes, one for the overall best student in the upper Basic category in Honour of ST, Brikama Boyo, whose lyrics he finds very inspiring. The overall best student for the senior secondary category was named after Jainaba T Sarr whose dedication to youth excellence was the motivating factor.