Gambia @ 57: Happy Independence Anniversary in advance!

Feb 16, 2022, 11:10 AM

The Gambia will Friday mark 57 years of existence after attaining independence from Britain. It was on the 18th of February 1965, when the country broke the Yoke of colonial rule, thus officially attaining its sovereignty.

Prior to independence, The Gambia was among four British colonies on the West African coast, the others being Nigeria, Sierra Leone and Ghana.

Ghana set the pace by becoming the first of the British colonies in West Africa to attain independence in 1957, which also gave rise to other nations to struggle for Independence.

Though ours came at the latter part, it means a lot for the country and her people.

Therefore, celebrating this year’s anniversary under a new term calls for renewed hope and sacrifice by all to position the country to the envy of the world. Let’s always bear in mind that National Independence Day is a day that we should all be proud of, looking at the strides and sacrifices made by our founding fathers. 

The day is not only a cause for celebration but a stocktaking and sober reflection of how far we’ve come as a nation. The Gambia’s road to independence was not an easy one just like most of our neighbours. It was through selfless sacrifice by our founding fathers like the late Pierre Sarr Njie, Sir Dawda K. Jawara, I.M. Garba Jahumpa and the list goes on. We therefore salute and pay homage to all those who played a part in the independence struggle; the likes of Sir Farimang Singhateh, I.M. Garba Jahumpa, P.S. Njie, Sir Dawda Jawara and a host of others.

Despite the strong self-imposed perpetuation by those white rulers, these nationalists resisted to ensure that The Gambia and her people were freed from the Yoke of colonial subjugation. 

However, it is also important to ask what might have attracted the first European invaders to this part of Africa? According to historians, in summary Europeans have always been attracted to the country, thanks to its River Gambia; a source they continue to explore to this day.

In view of the navigable nature of River Gambia, which stretches 1,100 kilometers from the mouth to its source in Fouta Djallon in Conakry, River Gambia by far is one of the rare gems The Gambia has to offer.

To Gambians, as the country celebrates another independence, let us put aside our political differences and see to the interest of The Gambia. It is human that we must have different ideologies, feelings, approaches and even solutions, but let’s exercise maturity and collectively ‘we can triumph’ in every emerging issue.

Let’s always remember that the country is just emerging from the presidential election, and heading towards its parliamentary polls. It is important to exercise maturity and put the country’s interest above self.

Yes, as humans we have divergent views and ideologies, but that is where maturity comes into play. Let’s forgive each other and forget what might have happened in the past, and forge ahead. It is only through dialogue, tolerance and respect for one another that this country will continue to live in peace, progress and prosperity.

For The Gambia our homeland; to The Gambia Ever True!

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