May 27, 2021, 12:49 PM
In the funeral oration of those who died in the battle of Peloponnesian war in 431 BC, Athens statesman Pericles said “in the hour of trial Athens alone among her contemporaries is superior to the report of her” it is extraneous whether or not the statement was to magnify Athens or her dead soldiers. What remained factual is that both the living and the dead subjects of Athens lived or nobly died for their city and their empire. Today, I want to dwell upon the greatness of The Gambia even more than Pericles dwelt upon Athens. The Gambia have great soldiers who lived and died for This country, we have academicians who have planted eternal wisdom in the hearts and minds of our people, we have panegyrist whose poetry is so pleasing beyond the melodies of the great Homer. All the above are necessary but not sufficient to make The Gambia the wonder of this and the succeeding ages. As a people whose common trait is our nationality and unique sense of belonging, what we need beyond soldiers and panegyrist is the valor to muster what God the almighty has destined for us. What we need beyond the mere utterance of the lines of “strive and work and pray” is the act of it, so that “all may live in unity, freedom and peace each day”. This will be the realities of our country only if we seize to live in the past and contend for higher price as one people, and not as tribes, regions, or religions of the Gambia. The Gambia is my mother land and I shall obey and follow any person who magnify and make her glorious, and in this, the current government has not fall short of. The affairs of The Gambia have been fared by people to whom we owe a great deal of gratitude for the good things they have done and strive to grant them forgiveness for the injuries caused to The Gambia. Whilst we do this, let us not be swayed by the contentions of our ethnic difference that have been exploited by unscrupulous people to earn themselves cheap popularity and unsolicited fame. Let us look towards the direction of the current leadership like we did in the previous ones. Let us support this government and their national development plan and criticize with a view to better our leaders and not to merely sabotage or dishonor their struggles. Let us not dismay those people who have paid the loftiest price of freedom and furtherance of the Gambia. On this note, I implore my tribesmen to be aware of those individuals whose only desire is to blot out the good with the evil and have not benefitted us nothing but only brought us pain, suffering and dishonor. Our progress as group cannot be in isolation to the Gambia and the other groups in it. We are not superior nor is someone superior to us. We are all creations “to make manifest the glory of God that is within us”, and the support of another person outside us does not make us any less honorable. It is a mere manifestation of our valor and true measure of man’s worth.