Feb 16, 2016, 10:42 AM
President, The Gambia will tomorrow 18 February celebrate 55 years of
independence. It is a time for all Gambians to reflect on the country’s
achievements, shortcomings and failures and also work together in improving
areas that are of national interest. We hope you would preach unity and
national reconciliation on this important national day
Mr. President, water and electricity still remain a big challenge for your government as many areas in the country are still experiencing shortage of both water and electricity.
The electricity problem which started way back on 22 November 1977 (‘Tobaski’ day) when the then GUC machines in Half Die, Banjul, was blown up, resulting to serious challenges for both the past 2 governments. However, there has been a significant improvement in your regime, but services are still not 100% especially in the urban areas. With Senegalese Electricity Company’s (SENELEC) partnership, the services in the rural areas have improved.
Mr. President, the health, sports and education sectors are also lacking behind. With the coming of some new virus and diseases like the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), there is need to strengthen our health care system.
We appeal to donors and philanthropists to assist the health providers with medications and equipment to help in their work. More doctors should be trained by either sending them to other countries to train or get trained personnel right here at home. A healthy nation is a wealthy nation.
Mr. President, education is a key to success so you need to give a little more attention to the education system too. Your government should provide more scholarships for students to pursue higher education. The schools especially the University of The Gambia needs proper structures in place in order to make learning easier for students. On sports development, without finance we cannot achieve results in international competitions. The national football team is competing to qualify for Cameroon AFCON 21. Without resources for adequate preparation, our chances would be slim to participate in the African Nations cup finals for the first time. More sports structures are needed to promote and develop sports in schools. Sport is no longer leisure but investment and a career. Your government should support the media as many African countries do and work in harmony.
Mr. President, transportation is still a problem for workers and students especially during the rush hours. Drivers now divide the route into parts and use the scheme to overcharge commuters on a daily basis.
Your government should invest in getting commercial buses to assist with the transport problem.
Mr. President, the Mayor of KMC and Mayoress of Banjul deserve applause for the good work and the beautification of their councils. However, proper market structures for the women and petty traders to sell their products still remain challenge. The roads and sewage systems also need to be worked on before the raining season begins. Your government should work closely with heads of municipalities and area councils.
Mr. President, for the sake of tomorrow’s celebration, we appeal to you as the father of the Nation to pardon all members of 3 Years Jotna charged and remanded and also the four journalists charged for inciting violence and the two Radio stations: King FM and Digital FM for reopen.
People living in The Gambia should always be law abiding and also respect the rule of law whilst the government should promote human rights, freedom of the press, fight against corruption and nepotism.
Mr. President, on humanitarian grounds, kindly return all assets and properties seized during Jammeh regime to the rightful owners.
Finally Mr. President, we wish all Gambians residing in and out of the country a very happy independence anniversary.
Let justice guide us towards the common good.
For the Gambia our homeland.