People of the Gambia,friends of the Gambia,welcome to the smiling coast of Africa and thank you for coming to celebrate with us our independent anniversary.We entreat you at our home in our dear motherland.
Fellow Gambians, it is barely two months when Gambians courageously demonstrated their vehement and uncompromising opposition to the conditions that the European Union wanted to impose on the Gambian nation.
The spontaneity of the solidarity marches and the reactions that erupted involving all categories of society is symbolic of the significance Gambians attached to their dignified existence as a sovereign nation and degree of patriotism and political maturity that marks Gambian society today.
It is inspiring with this wave of development and patriotic manifestation that the theme chosen for this year,s celebration yes and I quote is: National Sovereignty and Patriotism in Nation Building.
Fellow Gambians,friends of the Gambia,distinguish viewers and listeners; Nations are defined by their citizens in relation to common identity,sense of direction,sense of interest and other peculiar trades that bind them.Taking this further holding nationality connotes belonging to a peculiar stock of people with a distinct way of life within a definite geographical area all of which define them of multiple context.The relevance of our existence and therefore our identities are in inextricably linked to those contexts.This accounts for differences in our value system and cultural heritages.
In simple terms national sovereignty denotes independence, Right to self determination and the pursuit of common destiny and construction,socio-economic programmes and aspiration based on shared values,philosophies and principles. Against this backdrop it is in the interest of all citizens and for the sake of progeny that we must stand united to defend and protect one another in accordance with this understanding. Like the founding fathers of independent Africa who literally fought for their freedom and subsequently established the Organization of African Unity OAU, which we have now transformed into the African Union.
We risked our lives on 22nd July 1994 to liberate the Gambia in order to build it and let it shine as a sovereign nation.We risked our lives neither to sell the country nor to betray the people to any other nation or grouping. Similarly, when we established the Civic Education panel in the early years of the Gambia revolution to educate the citizens of the Gambia,the objective was clear to educate the people for nation building.Today it is heartening to note that this crucial development has paid dividend and that Gambians are particularly aware and mature enough,not only to know their rights but also to stand up against any attempt to violate such rights whenever the need arise.Over the past 18 years my government has been consistent in ensuring that the Gambian nation enjoy a respectable and dignified status within the global community.In view of the radical development initiative implemented we can now boast of the ultra modern and appropriate infrastructure,more relevant and stronger institutions better and robust policies and programmes as well as more functional and productive socio economic structures.The results of all this is that the quality of life in the country is better and there are greater opportunities and prospect for all Gambians. Nationally, we are better organized than united internationally.The image and status of the Gambia has changed as we are more active on the world stage than ever before.Such successes have not gone un-noticed outside the shores of the land.
Thus, there will be continuous attempt to destroy this perspective trends and undermine the fabric of our social lives.
Fellow Gambians,friends of the Gambia,distinguish ladies and gentlemen and viewers; The history of this world blighted by in cession action,exploitation,domination, suppression,discrimination and of late conditions tied to hidden agendas.
Hence the emergence of structure resistance and revolutions that are guided by a manipulatory ideologies and radical socio political projects.The lesson is that all people must take into their hands,the protection and furtherance of their interest,resource life of sovereignty as they consider it fit.This also goes to Gambians,no one else can determine our destiny for us and no one will come to build the Gambian nation for us without any hidden motive.In opting for responsive external forces we must distinguish between the honest and genuine friends of the Gambia and those who seek to embark on expansionist caprice.Therefore,we are thankful to the true friends and allies of the Gambia and wish to reassure them of our support and cooperation at all times.
One wonders some times how certain myopic nations and regional bodies think and behave.The world must know that Gambians are not politically blind nor gullible and naive enough to swallow whatever the West gives out to us.We will not be dictated to and we call on all progressive and patriotic Africans to defy all forms of foreign domination and deviate their source of energy to Almighty Allah and nation building.We must not be told what laws to enact or abrogate as we experienced lately.
In the Gambia there is equality in all aspect,equality before the law and in relation to opportunities.This did not exist during the colonial rule.As a matter of common sense the descendants of former colonial matters,slave traders and armed robbers that Pilate Africa and other continents yesterday cannot give lessons on governance to any African country today.Certainly not, the Gambia and Gambian people will not accept such insolence.We subscribe to mutual respect among nations peaceful coexistence and preservation of the national sovereignty of each nation. For us, our national sovereignty is exclusively about our rights to exercise political freedom and control over our priorities,policies and programmes.As a government we endorse the principle that the peoples sovereignty collectively takes precedence over any individual sovereignty.In the nation we are conscious also of the fact that interference or violations of sovereignty can emerge from both and within the nation and without.Therefore as patriots living in a global community and belonging to human race we extend the hand of friendship and brotherhood to all other well meaning and progressive nations and international bodies regardless of any form of distinction but we oppose at all time all external interference in our rights and privileges as a sovereign state and we demand that all external regional and sub regional organizations focus on genuine socio-economic agendas and refrain from being prescriptive over and dictate to nations that do not fall within their spheres of hegemony.This is particular so we have such interference to seek to condone crime and to protect criminals,encourage immoral and ungodly attitudes of behaviours like the homosexuality.
Fellow Gambians,distinguish friends and partners of the Gambia, Just as the African continent, progress is linked to the freedom and unity of all African countries, so is the celebration of each nation linked to the manifestation of their entire citizenry.As patriots we must undertake to reverse and dislodge what has been described as the infamous colonial legacy of inequitable and inappropriate development in Africa.Some of these structures are being so deeply entrenched in African society that they tend to support neo-imperialist strategies that surface in different forms and in deceitful ways from time to time.
Fellow Gambians,distinguish viewers, friends of the Gambia, It is fascinating that the West has preferred to be blind to the legislative reforms undertaking in the Gambia in recent years.The domestication of the international convention and instrument,harmonious integration of common laws and Islamic law sharia,the establishment of an alternative dispute resolution tribunal and the production of a new set of the revised laws of the Gambia are among genuine endeavours to institute a just and effective judicial or legal system which the Gambians have endorsed; noting the process that follow to bring about their reform was participatory and all inclusive.We know that laws like the factors to inform them are socially located and distinctively contextual.Therefore, our laws are directive of our values,tradition,customs and generally our culture.Our institutions seek to speak to and preserve those elements that instill and sustain social cohesion,stability and economic development. In the course of self determination as a sovereign nation we are guided by this precepts,our religion defines our cultural values as a people and these religious values will be defended at all times and at any cost without compromise. In redefining our independence and our responsibilities,individual and collectively, let us submit to the collective or national will.We the Gambians are peace loving tolerant and hospitable people and we should exhibit these values towards one another and towards other people as this is a clear demonstration of true Islam and Islamic values,peace and love and hospitality towards each other as well is one of the principal tenets of Islam.I Appreciate the recent show of solidarity with my government which as I said earlier symbolizes the patriotic disposition of Gambians.It signals the political awareness and maturity and a pressing desire to protect our sovereignty.However, I re-echo my call on all Gambian youth,parents,professionals,technicians and every one else from other walks of life to arm themselves with the degree of spiritual,political and social consciousness,commitment and dedication to the common good required of all patriots to act as community agents for social progress and peace as well as for the preservation of the cultural integrity and dignity of the Gambian people. Africa,s history has been flawed by external factors and the intervention that led to conflicts and backwardness. We must be mindful of strategies used against Africans, Colonial and neo-imperialist strategies are no different.
To dominate a people,the trick is to divide them,weaken them,control their frameworks and apparatus,dissipate their resources,render their institutions dysfunctional and define their reference point. In consequence, this is an era of resistance and cooperation,resistance to foreign domination and cooperation for global progress and peace and for improvement on the overall quality of life. Undeterred by whatever the enemy of the nation say or do, we will continue to build this nation,to fulfill our vision and ensure that the entire citizenry enjoy and all the vices that deterred progress. To those enemies of Africa in general and the Gambia in particular,let me assure you that you will always fail by the grace of the Al Mighty Allah.And if you mistake of setting your feet on the Gambian soil, you will regret why you were born without fail.We will always prevail over all evil people and their machinations inshalah.Evil can never prevail over good.
The recent change of work schedule for public sector provides opportunities for all of us to worship Allah as Muslims appropriately as well as embark on out of office an income generating activities for poverty eradication. We must find ways of creating wealth and living as a nation.It is only when we cultivate true culture of patriotism, hard work and discipline that we will be able to contribute selflessly to our collective well being. Let me emphasize this point that Gambia has been predominantly Muslim and cannot afford to work on Fridays when the minority Christians have their Sundays off to worship the Almighty God.If for any reason the majority of the Gambians feel that we should have five working days then we will have Saturdays as a working day but Fridays certainly will never be a working day for the Gambian people.So is up to you the Gambian people to choose four days working week or five days working week in which case Saturday will be a working day,the choice is yours but Friday the decision has been taken we have gone too far to return,is not going to be accepted.
Friday will be holiday for all Muslims to worship the Al Mighty Allah the same way as Sunday is a holiday for Christians to worship the Al Mighty Allah.
Distinguish viewers and listeners, as president of this country,I promise you better days, bigger projects and brighter future inshalah. In return I call on you to be more vigilant and work closely with government to achieve our individual and collective national objectives and aspirations.
At this juncture I pay solemn tribute to all visiting head of states, dignitaries and other distinguished personalities in our midst.While we remember and pray for those who are less fortunate to be with us in celebration of our national day, I congratulate all Gambians,non Gambians in this country and thank the public servants,national and regional committees and all those behind the successful celebration of this year's independence anniversary.I also thank and pay tribute to the school children, teachers, parents, security services,voluntary organizations and cultural groups and youth for an impressive turn out and for their contributions to the splendor of the day.To all those who have come out to attend this event we equally convey profound appreciation and gratitude.To all of you I say peace and love and may the Almighty Allah guide, protect and bless us a nation.May the Almighty Allah guide us to a quick and decisive victory over poverty and He help us to transform or transpose our nation into prosperous entity we aspire to. May we become an economic super power sooner rather than later.
Long live the Gambians! Long live all patriotic Gambians! Long live the African people! Long live Pan Africanists people that stands in defence of Africa.
I thank you all for your kind attention.Happy independence celebration.