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Gambains Rejoice at Obama Victory

Nov 6, 2008, 3:46 AM | Article By: Baboucarr Senghore

The American people have spoken and they have spoken clearly even for the deaf to hear in a day that many described as historic not only for Americans but also Africans in general.

It was amazing listening to the news yesterday morning 5thNovember, the way it kept being repeated. The description of the events in far away America; Barrack Obama elected the next U.S president, the first black American to win the Presidency in America.

In a televised victory speech in Chicago yesterday, Barack Obama outlined the challenges that lie ahead of America but was however quick to express optimism that this would be achieved if all Americans work as a people.

For President-Elect Barack Obama, even as Americans celebrate, they know the challenges that tomorrow will bring are the greatest in his lifetime. "Even as we stand here tonight, we know that there are brave Americans waking up in the deserts of Iraq and the mountains of Afghanistan, who risk their lives for us", he said.

He added, "The road ahead will be long, a climb would be steep, we may not get there in one year or even in one term but America I have never been more hopeful than tonight that we would get there. I promise you that we as a people would get there".

According to President Obama, there would be setbacks and the government can't solve every problem but he will always be honest with Americans about the challenges they face. "I will listen to you especially when we disagree. Above all, I will ask you all to join in the work in remaking this nation".

As celebrations continues across the globe, the Point yesterday went out and about to get the reactions of Gambians about the news of Barack Obama being elected as the first black president of the United States.

First to talk to the Point is Mr. Femi Peters, Campaign manager of the opposition United Democratic Party and he has this to say, "As I said earlier, this is one of the toughest elections that has ever taken place in the U.S in terms of finance, organisation and administration. It involves for the first time in the history of the U.S an Afro-American.

"This is a tribute to American democracy. In every battle, there is always a winner and a loser, and the loser this morning is very magnanimous because he called the winner to congratulate him. This as far as I am concerned is an open significance of political maturity on the side of John McCain who happens to be the loser.

"I hope this example will be followed by others particularly The Gambia where what we have is democracy at another level, which is rather unfortunate. We hope that the political leaders in this country be it opposition and government, will learn from this shining example".

For one Hon. Baboucarr Nyang, the ruling APRC National Assembly member for Banjul South, this is history in that for the first time an African-American becomes the President of America. "This will change the whole American political set-up and for the world, Obama will be like President Kennedy who becomes the first catholic president of the U.S. With regards to Africa, America's agenda or interest towards Africa will be among their top most priorities," he added.

Another happy supporter who spoke to the Point is Mr. Lamin Gaye, a banker, and he has this to say, ""This will no doubt boost public confidence in the American economy given the victory. This is something that is applauded by the entire world due to the fact that this is a major turning point in the political history of America. It has never occurred to most people that America at this point in time will have a black president. As a result, this is something that has come as a major accomplishment by President Obama and especially black Americans.

Speaking to Charles Sarr Thomas who has studied in America and been following U.S. elections for some time now, he commented as follows: "I am very happy about these elections for various reasons. For the first time an African-American has competed and gone this far in an American election, and actually won! This is wonderful. I am happy that Obama is one who can transform America economically, socially, and in terms of her world image and standing. This victory isan indication to me, and I hope for the whole world, that racialism in America is also now history. These are great blessings for America and the world, and all brought about someone we should call Obama Mubarak.