24 May 2013

Gambia: Happy Birthday, Mr President


It is another joyous celebration; another opportunity to celebrate the birth of an agent of change; another opportunity to reflect on a personality of epic influence on generations of Gambians, Africans and the people of the world at large. Agree with the man, or disagree with the man. The second President of the Republic of The Gambia is today a world leader, a revolutionary icon.

Come Saturday, 25th May, 2013, the Africa Liberation Day also marks the 49th birthday of our dear President, Sheikh, Prof, Alh. Dr Yahya AJJ Jammeh. Given what the man himself means to Gambians and even the sub-region and beyond, the importance of Jammeh's birthday runs parallel to the birthday of the nation itself. Coincidentally, the two share the same anniversary.

This is nothing but a fulfilment of a promise nature held for this generation of ours from creation. His ascension was as certain as the impact he was destined to make on this world. So, president Jammeh's reign should not be seen as a mere chance, rather, it should be seen as a historical destiny. And that, for those of you who don't know the man himself, or know him only from a distance, is how the man views his historical mission to leave a legacy of heroic leadership, vision and development for this nation and for Africa as a whole.

18 years on, since July 22nd, we live in the heart of this reality; even if not for anything, but the enforced level of hope that keeps life going in The Gambia, is a drive towards self actualization for its people. There is absolutely no point in endeavoring to list the line of achievement we have been enjoying so far. They are apparent, except if you do not want to see them. For the first time we know the worth of being independent. This is the testimony of even the older generation, who, by virtue of their experience, reserve the moral right to make contrasting judgment. But, of course, the numerous privileges of our generation enable us to see for ourselves what had happened before and to make comparison with the realities of our world. That is why we can say with the strongest possible conviction that we are the most privileged of people. As we celebrate, let us reflect not only on the achievements of the individual, but that of the whole nation, and try to link this to the inspiration we drew from the Gambian leader.

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