Thousands of people in the West Coast Region (WCR) over the weekend converged at the coastal village of Sanyang to celebrate The Gambia's 48th Independence Anniversary in grand style.
The day's celebration brought together scores of dignitaries including the minister of Finance and Economic Affairs, Abdou Kolley; the paramount chief, Demba Sanyang; governors of other regions; National Assembly members, amongst others. The day availed the people of West Coast Region the opportunity to reflect on how far The Gambia has come in terms of socio-political development, but more so the strives registered by the Second Republic ushered in by the Gambian leader, His Excellency Sheikh Professor Alhaji Dr. Yahya Jammeh 18 years ago.
Being one of The Gambia's biggest and most densely populated regions, West Coast Region has with time maintained a strong political position, which it continues to manifest even after the country secured full political autonomy from Britain 48 years ago. It has up until now been very instrumental in shaping the political direction of the country, in that Kombo North constituency, continues to be a decisive area in general elections in this country.
At Saturday's celebration, school children, residents of the region, voluntary organisations and other interest groups marched past the representative of the head of state in the region, Governor Lamin Sanneh, in the company of The Gambia Armed Forces and the Gambia Police Band respectively. They sang the country's National Anthem and other national songs meant to remind themselves and others of the importance of self-determination in the journey towards national development.
Leading the day's celebrations in the region, Governor Lamin Sanneh described the day as important in the annals of the country's political history, noting that the occasion provides the opportunity to reflect on the journey The Gambia has embarked on since political independence was attained from the British in 1965. He said the day is worth remembering in that it brings to the fore, the injustice meted out to Gambians in the pre-independence era.
"Today, we are now a sovereign nation enjoying self-rule and liberty," the governor said. He commented on the unprecedented developments registered by the Jammeh Administration in the past 18 years; something he said touched on all facets of socio-economic development in the country.