The Gambian leader, His Excellency Sheikh Professor Alhaji Dr. Yahya Jammeh yesterday made a personal contribution of D2, 563, 138. 00 (Two million, five hundred and sixty-three thousand one hundred and thirty eight dalasis) to ease the challenge of raising funds for the National Youths Conference and Festival dubbed NAYCONF.
Held in every two years, the NAYCONF is a youth gathering that brings together young people to exhibit the youthful exuberance in all facets of life to enable them have greater understanding of the issues affecting them, accept each other and explore means through which they can contribute towards national development.
The presentation ceremony presided over by the Vice President on behalf of the Gambian leader was in response to a letter written to the president by the Ministry of Youth and Sports, updating him on the level of preparedness for the NAYCONF and the challenges the organising committee is facing in raising the needed funds to hold the conference successfully.
Handing over the cash, Her Excellency, Aja Dr Isatou Njie-Saidy dwelled on the wide range of opportunities government created for the youths. She also dilated on the positive response being made by young people in response to President Jammeh's vision and calls. "Your response gives us hope as a government and the president is very hopeful about where he is leading this country. He knows that each time he looks behind him, he sees a big group supporting him, most of whom are you the young people," she said.
VP Njie-Saidy further recounted the numerous developments undertaken by the Jammeh administration. The young people, she added have given the Gambian leader a lot of hope because they listen to him and heed to his advice as well, which result is surfacing.
She challenged youths to be appreciative and make hay while the sun shines,saying; "As long as you are committed and want to take advantage of the enabling environment provided by His Excellency and his government, the sky is the limit. He [President Jammeh] said it and you have seen it. Just keep it up. The dignity for labour is critical and there is nothing better than working hard and earning for you. This is better than depending on somebody. And am happy that the youths of this country are beginning to see that themselves" she said.
"To whom much is given, much is expected" were the words of Dr Njogu Bah, the minister for Presidential Affairs who is also the secretary general and head of the Civil Service when he took turn to address the gathering.
He continued: "Let us not question the choice of venue as to where the conference should be held. Let us all turn up en mass in Bansang and make this NAYCONF the best ever organised." The SG further cautioned young people to stay out of trouble and never allow themselves to be used for selfish gains or political agenda.
"Let us concentrate more on our education or any work that we may be engaged in. Let us engage in meaningful activities that would add to the socio-economic development of this country. You are the future and ideal leaders that the president or your parents would be proud of. You must work on your attitude towards life, have sense of responsibility and patriotism," he advised.
According to him, President Jammeh has done everything humanly possible for the youths and that they should show him appreciation by always doing what is right and stay out of drugs and crimes and all other forms of trouble. "If we do that, we will make him proud and he will be ready to do more than what he has done for you," SG Bah said.
The Presidential Affairs Minister thanked the three young people, Sait Drammeh, Fatou Jeng and Isatou Drammeh, who were presented at the ceremony for been role models proudly sponsored by the Gambian leader. He encouraged them to continue to be role models in society for others to emulate and look up to. He told them of the huge income generation opportunities in the country for which the young people can venture in.
"We congratulate you all for your successes and continue to be responsible citizens so that when the baton is passed on to you tomorrow, you can be able to raise the Gambian flag higher and give us or maintain the respect that we deserve and have been enjoying under the leadership of President Jammeh," he concluded.
Susan Waffa-Ogoo, Kebba Touray and Francis Liti Mboge, ministers for Foreign Affairs, Trade and Works respectively,expressed delight at the presidential gesture.
Fatou Jeng, Sait Drammeh, Isatou Drammeh, all beneficiaries of President Jammeh's scholarship package, and Pa Suwareh Fye, the acting director Youth and Sports, all spoke at the ceremony.