We Should Not Be Complacent - Jammeh Tells Gambians

Thursday, February 19, 2009

The Gambia yesterday marked its 44th Independence anniversary, a day that the country acquired self-government from white colonial rule. The celebrations, which were decentralised across the country, took the form of a march pass by school children, security forces, voluntary organisations and youth groups.

In Banjul, Mayor Samba Faal took the salute whiles Mayor Yankuba Colley took the salute at the Kanifing Municipal Council.

In his address to the nation, President Yahya Jammeh called on Gambians not to be complacent by 'allowing the peace that the country enjoys to snick carelessly through our fingers by being unwary of the dangers and threats posed by the enemies of progress whose every manipulation is to disrupt peace and tranquillity in other to pursue their selfish interest'.

"As we thank the Almighty Allah for blessing us and making the Gambia a citadel of peace and stability, it is incumbent on us not to be complacent.

"Simply put, we should not allow the days that such peace and stability has brought us to snick carelessly through our fingers by being unwary of the dangers and threats posed by the enemies of progress whose every manipulation is to disrupt peace and tranquillity in other to pursue their selfish interest", President Jammeh opined.

According to the Gambian leader, Gambians have every reason not to be complacent especially at a time like this when the rising food, financial and economic crisis that the world faces, the natural tendency is for people to lose hope and become agitated, ageing and simply resort to vices that could be inimical to social peace, prosperity and tranquillity.

He urged Gambians that the dying moments and difficulties of today should unite rather than divide us. "We should also strengthen our resolve as a nation to fight to be more economic independent", he said.

For President Jammeh, the day is yet another moment for national reflection and the renewal of our individual and collective commitment and pledge to nation building. He said government have this year decided to make peace and stability the theme for national reflection in view of the fact that nothing is cause by way of social, economic and political progress at the advancement of the livelihood of the people in the absence of peace and stability.

"I draw on this theme also as a demonstration of my desire to see all Gambians aspire themselves, measure their potentials to the fullest and mobilise their productive talents and resources in the nation building process of the 21st century.

"The Gambia as we all know has earned the respect and admiration of the world as a peaceful country and as an example of a country where the maintenance of peace and stability have been the corner stone of our development process", he added.

For the school children, President Jammeh urged them to be respectful, law abiding as well as hard working both at schools and at homes. This, he added, will inevitably mould them to be more honest, productive and responsible citizens tomorrow.

"While it is the business of all to ensure peace and stability, I enjoin the youths and young people in particular to play a more active and productive role in the promotion of peace and security", he noted. The rational for this call, he went on, is founded on their role as future leaders or proud flag bearers to drive the national development agenda. "It is my fervent hope that the youths of this country who constitute the overwhelming majority of our population will take heed by ensuring that they adopt responsible behaviors into adulthood.

"It must always be remembered that nations rely upon the vigour, strength and productive versatility of the youths in strengthening socio-economic and political advancement at any given moment in time. Your role therefore is crucial and constitute the nations pride", President Jammeh said.

He underscored his governments unwavering resolve to always provide added opportunities for youths of this country that would help them to realise their potentials.

"For its part and as amply demonstrated, my government will leave no stone unturned to provide added opportunities for youths of this country that would help them to realise their potentials. We would continue to integrate the need of youths, women and children into our national policy and programmes", he said.

To parents, teachers and guidance, the Gambian leader urged them to continue their collaboration to give the young ones the best of bringing based on positive cultural values, which inculcate respect for one another. "We are obliged to promote unity, peace and love at all levels of the social order, he noted.

Author: Baboucarr Senghore
Source: Picture: President Jammeh