The Point (Banjul)

2 January 2013

Gambia: Sierra Leone Is Home to Gambians, Says Salone High Commissioner

His Excellency Alhaji Mohamed Kemo Fadika, Sierra Leone High Commissioner to The Gambia, has reiterated the cordial and bilateral relations between his country and The Gambia, saying Gambians and, by extension, all nationals, are welcome to Sierra Leone.

He made this statement on Saturday 29 December 2012 at a rally held at Latrikunda Lower Basic School on Kairaba Avenue after a long procession from Buffer Zone in Tallinding, in celebration of the recent electoral victory of the All People's Congress party of Sierra Leone.

"Sierra Leone is home to Gambians, as Sierra Leone is their second home," he told The Point newspaper. "All Gambians in Sierra Leone are happy; they live a better life than even some Sierra Leoneans, because our policy in Sierra Leone is open, particularly for our nearest neighbouring countries The Gambia inclusive."

While thanking President Yahya Jammeh and the Gambian people for their hospitality to Sierra Leoneans living in The Gambia, High Commissioner Fadika also said "The Gambia is home to Sierra Leoneans".

The charismatic High Commissioner further explains the cordial relationship between both countries: "The bilateral relationship between Sierra Leone and The Gambia is something historical. During the days of our forefathers, there had already been a very cordial relationship between Sierra Leone and The Gambia. That's why most educated Gambians did their university studies in Sierra Leone.

"Between Sierra Leone and The Gambia we have almost everything in common: we speak the same English; Gambians speak Mandinka, we speak Mandika; they speak Fula, we speak Fula; a lot of Sierra Leoneans are married to Gambians and a lot of Gambians are married to Sierra Leoneans; so we are one and the same family.

"We are only divided by our colonial masters, but if you look at the geography you will know that Sierra Leone and The Gambia are one and the same; in fact during the colonial days Sierra Leone and The Gambia were being administered together by the British."

Sierra Leone held its presidential, parliamentary and local government elections on 17 November this year, which was won landslide with 58.7% by the incumbent APC party led by His Excellency Ernest Bai Koroma, as against the 37.4% of the votes polled by the strongest opposition Sierra Leone People's Party (SLPP) led by Rtd Major General Julius Maada Bio.

HC Fadika said the APC is a party of the people of Sierra Leone hence its landslide victory in the November Polls that have re-elected President Koroma and his APC party for the second time to steer the affairs of Sierra Leone.

He said the APC has come in again with another develop[mental programme called Agenda for Prosperity after the Party's Agenda for Change has successfully transformed Sierra Leone and its people for the better, as promised by the President in his first five-year term.

"We have delivered in five years; and we are going to do more, based on the development that has been registered and as we continue to work for Sierra Leone, the people are ready not to sacrifice the APC for any other political party, and they are ready to vote for us again for the next 15, 20, to 40 years to be in political authority. We are going to work arduously, assiduously, courageously as a party and the President is dedicated to ensuring that Sierra Leone prospers within the years 2012 and 2017."

In her statement on the occasion, the Sierra Leone Deputy High Commissioner to The Gambia, H.E. Sadiatu Sesay, advised Sierra Leoneans in The Gambia to be law-abiding, while thanking President Yahya Jammeh for his love and kindness to Sierra Leoneans in The Gambia.

APC Gambia branch Youth Wing Chairman Alie Serry Kamal, who also spoke to The Point says: Despite party differences, all Sierra Leoneans should support the present government led by Dr Ernest Bai Koroma for Sierra Leone to be seen at the apex of development so that all Sierra Leoneans and non-Sierra Leoneans as well would benefit."

Other speakers on the occasion were APC Gambia Branch chairman Mohamed Osman Kamara, and APC Party adviser in The Gambia, Sheku Kamara.

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