Dec 29, 2008, 7:06 AM
Speaking on the occasion, the permanent secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Njogou-Saer Bah, said Gambians are happy to celebrate and rejoice with the people and government of Nigeria in times of joy and to sympathise with them during crisis.
“It happened that this occasion is being marked when two great phenomena are destroying the life and livelihood of our people in the sub-region: the Boko Haramphenomenon,on which we stand by the Nigerian government and people to condemn; and, the Ebola virus,” PS Bah said.
The permanent secretary further stated that the relationship between Nigeria and The Gambiacontinues to go from strength to strength, as amply demonstrated in the cooperation that exists between the two peoples and governments.
On behalf of his minister, he thanked Ambassador Esther John Audu and asked her to convey to President Goodluck Jonathan hearty congratulations on the occasion from the people and government of The Gambia.
In her speech, High Commissioner Esther John Audu expressed delight, and welcomed everybody to the occasion.
She said 54 years ago Nigeria was liberated fromBritish colonial rule.
“On this great occasion, I bring you greetings and good tidings from the President and the commander-in-chief of the armed forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Dr Goodluck Jonathan FGR.”
There was no doubt that the journey of 54 years in the life of Nigeria as a nation has been quite challenging, considering the recent challenges by activities of terrorist elements which have done the unimaginable.
The government and the people of Nigeria and President Goodluck Jonathan have shown strong commitment in ensuring that the surge of terrorism and insurgence is completely wiped out, she said.
However, she added, despite all these challenges Nigeria is coming out stronger, better transformed, prosperous and a more united country.
“I must commend the longstanding relationship between Nigeria and The Gambia, which keeps growing stronger and stronger each day,” she added.
She gave special thanks to President Yahya Jammeh for his tireless efforts in ensuring that the relationship is strengthened and sustained, through his support and encouragement to the government and people of Nigeria.
“I used this opportunity to congratulate President Jammeh and the good people of The Gambia on the occasion of the 20th yearanniversary celebration of the 22nd July Revolution,” the Nigerian diplomat stated.
“I am pleased to state that in view of our common vision and aspirations for the well-being of our people, as well as overcoming the challenges that we have faced in the past, Nigeria will continue to partner with The Gambia at all levels to ensure the realisation of these goals,” she said.
The two nations have worked together over the years at both bilateral and multilateral levels, and “this has yielded maximum results and impact”, she noted.
The partnership would continue to be sustained in accordance with their commitment to promoting economic development, democracy and international peace and security, she continued.
In addition, the committed efforts by the governments of both countries in the prevention and spread of the deadly Ebola virus and disease are highly commendable.
In support of the Gambia government’s development efforts, the government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria continues to post technical eco-volunteers and other technical assistance in the judiciary and disaster management to The Gambia.
He urged all Nigerians to be good ambassadorsof Nigeria in the Diaspora and in The Gambia, in particular.
They should always engage in legitimate businesses at all times, and obey the laws of The Gambia, she added.
“To our friends and well-wishers, I remind you that Nigeria is a strong united and prosperous nation with the largest market in Africa, and the strongest economy in the continent with viable investment opportunities in all sectors waiting to be explored.
“I thank all nations that have joined hands with all bodies with Nigeria in the fight against insurgency and terrorism, which is posing serious challenges to the world.”
She added: “Together we shall overcome these challenges. We shall work together to promote peace and security, economic growth and social development of our continent Africa, and the entire world.”