By Juldeh Njie & Maimuna Sey-Jawo
The office of the Governor of West Coast Region in collaboration with the Regional May Day Organizing Committee has recently observed May Day celebration. The celebration was held at SSP Brikama Daruhairu Canaan Multipurpose Centre.
The celebration took the form of cultural performances, sporting events and march-past by security forces, staff of the Brikama Area Council and the Governor’s office, immigration department among other.
The theme for the celebration was “employment creation for self help and employment”.
The deputy Governor of West Coast Region Musa B. Susso presided over the official opening on behalf of the Governor.
“As we know the first day of May is workers’ day and as a nation, we show solidarity with workers in our country and around the world,” he said.
He said the day is meant to reflect on the struggles, as well as celebrate the power of the working class in the region and the country at large.
He urged all workers to remain committed to national duty in order to achieve meaningful and sustainable development.
Speaking earlier, chairman Brikama Area Council, Bakary Saibou Sanneh, said the struggle of workers around the world has indeed come a long way, since the 1st day of May was designated international workers Day in 1904.
“The historical development of The Gambia as a nation cannot be divorced from the history of various Trade and workers Unions in the country.
“The recognition of those unions, by the government of the Gambia set the pace for workers’ rights awareness and workers Union legitimate demands for economic justice”.
He described this year’s May Day as special because it coincides with the New Gambia and the new found democracy.
“This year’s commemoration appropriately affords special reflection and accords special recognition to the historical and contemporary importance of the workers’ unions in the national development agenda,” Sanneh said.
According to him, the Gambia have a large workforce, but the majority of the workforce is unemployed, underemployed, or inappropriately employed.
“Therefore it is time for us all to work to bring more of our people, especially the young people, into the formal sector. This would be indeed everybody’s business and interest”, he noted.
The Gambian workers, he said, “are not only important part of our history, but pivot past, present and future as such government should leave no stone unturned towards the practical enhancement of the welfare of all workers in both the private and public sectors, and in facilitating better relations with employers and the government.
The actions and policies of government should be geared towards placing the country on the path of sustainable development and progress, where everyone can better achieve his or her dreams”.
Chairman Sanneh urged the government to focus on economic inclusion, with articulated strategy targeting the disadvantaged and unemployed in society with economic opportunities in agriculture, entrepreneurial support, graduate employment and unskilled job programmes.
For his part, Wandifa Drammeh, TAC secretary, said: “Gambia opted for the decentralized system of governance under the second republic which is still the prevailing situation under the New Gambia. It is by virtue of this system of governance, we gathered here to observe the regional celebration.”