Nov 24, 2008, 5:21 AM
The celebrations provided an opportunity for us to also take stock and look at ways of taking our beloved country forward.
As citizens, we should always endeavour to contribute our quota to national development to nurture peace and tranquility.
The government of the day should continue to look at the welfare of citizens by creating an enabling environment for all to operate and function freely and enjoy the same protection in all walks of life in this country.
As a nation we should continue to show respect for human rights and avoid long detention without trial, as required by the constitution of the land. Suspects should not be detained for more than 72 hours without being released or a charge filed against him or her to be tried at the court of law. Respect for the rule of law should be observed in The Gambia as we are seen as a peaceful and tranquil nation.
We commend President Yahya Jammeh for forgiving Gambians in the Diaspora, whom he believes one way or the other to have offended him. This generosity should also be extended to others at home, especially to some prisoners.
As a Muslim or Christian, we should always nurture peace and unity among ourselves, and ensure that peace and tranquility always prevails in our beloved Gambia.
A new page should be opened for national reconciliation, especially between the opposition and the ruling party and government authorities. Both sides should bury the hatchet and work for the betterment of the nation. We can have divergent views, but are not enemies.
National unity should always prevail and the press can play a vital role in promoting this. Government should open its doors to the press to enable media practitioners do their job properly, as we are partners in development and not enemies.
Concerning the socio-economic aspect, we welcome the plan of the President on providing free education from primary to university level, as well as plans to build more hospitals that will provide health facilities capable of curing major diseases.
The government should also explore the South-South relations or cooperation by bringing new ferries from nations such as Korea, Turkey, Germany and the like that manufacture good ferry vessels. The government should also rehabilitate and construct more roads, as well as improve the energy sector since the demand is very high.
Trade between The Gambia and other nations in Africa must also be promoted, with more airlines travelling on the continent and other parts of the world.
We should continue to encourage more airlines into The Gambia, especially with the new US$2.1 million ultramodern plant for GIA, the Gambia International Airlines.
We are also calling on Gambians in the Diaspora to continue to show love and concern for their country, and intensify the construction of houses in The Gambia and render more support in health, education, and other socio-economic projects that will be of great benefit to their families back home.
Christians and Muslims in The Gambia, who are role a model in Africa, should continue to live together in harmony and peace, for this is the will of God for humanity.
“ Promote Peace and Unity.”