Barrow says Gambia has opportunity for “another draft constitution”

Jan 4, 2021, 11:55 AM

Having been rejected by the National Assembly of The Gambia, President Adama Barrow in his New Year message to the nation says all is not lost as the country still has the “opportunity to produce another draft Constitution at the appropriate time.”  

According to him, 2021 is expected to be a year of more vigorous political activities, as potential candidates prepare to contest for the highest office of the land.

“No matter what our dreams, wishes and hopes may be, let us all play by the rule and the law. Let the law and our noble values and conscience define our thoughts, decisions and actions. I address this plea to all political parties, surrogates and citizens alike. In particular, let us not allow any external interference in our national affairs and interpersonal relationships,” he advised.

“In The Gambia, rightly or wrongly, we tend to associate whatever happens with God, but we must admit that, individually and collectively, we are responsible for our actions and, therefore, their consequences. To a great extent, people determine the course of their lives and, thereby, the nature of their communities and the pace and level of their progress and development.

In view of this, it is obvious that the number and magnitude of our successes depend on the way we utilise the potential that resides in us and the resources put at our disposal. These include the land, water, fauna and flora, which have to be utilised wisely and usefully.”

He pointed out that individual differences within our families, communities and institutions do not allow us to think and act in the same way. “These differences, however, like our cultural diversity, can foster mutual cooperation, specialisation and division of work for the development of a healthy and productive society that can address challenges amicably and carve out avenues to attain set goals. I ask that we bear this in mind, and work in harmony to redeem the nation permanently from injustice, poverty and underdevelopment.”

Barrow also dilated on government projects, programmes and sector reforms, saying they are on course, as “we continue to monitor and keep them on track. In particular, the Civil Service reform is in progress to yield a motivated and dedicated workforce which is sincere to the nation, committed and guided by the regulations that govern service delivery.”

“The recent salary increments and the new pension scheme in place have been made attractive to align them with the realities of daily life and the cost of living in the country. These positive developments should result in boosting output, work ethics, discipline and professionalism.”