The year 2013 was, no doubt, an eventful year in various aspects of life in this country. As usual, there have been both high and low marks, which both positively and negatively touched on the lives of many people in this country and beyond.
The year 2014 is now here.! We have a ready-made opportunity, both as individuals and as a nation, to reflect on how we have behaved towards friends, family, colleagues and all we came across in the past year.
Tuesday was the day that marked the end of 2013 and the beginning of the year 2014. In many cultures, the event is celebrated in some manner.
Indeed, in modern times, the celebration of New Year is a major activity worldwide. Many large-scale events are held in major cities around the world on New Year's Eve (December 31), accompanied by the largest fireworks.
It is also always considered as the time for fun and enjoyment. The day is usually marked, by most people, as a new beginning towards a life filled with hope and optimism. We remember all the good and bad things of the passing year on this day, and carry forward the positive experiences we have cherished.
If we have made enemies during the year, we must seek to make a truce with these people, and start afresh in the coming year.
Once again, we at The Point wish to extend an enormous "Thank You" to all those who have advertised with us during the year or worked with us in any way. Media is a difficult business, and we would not survive were it not for your support.
For the year 2014 and beyond, we pray for peace, love and prosperity for all the people of The Gambia.
We hope that the Press will enjoy a year of increased freedom, and that the repressive media laws will become a thing of the past.
We welcome wholeheartedly, the move by the government to lift the ban on The Standard newspaper and Teranga FM community radio station. The move is timely and will, no doubt, go a long way in boosting our democracy.
But we hope the government will not only stop at that. As we enter yet another new year, we would like to once again appeal to the government to review all draconian media laws, and any other law that hinders the work of journalists in this country.
One thing we would like to reiterate is the fact that we, as journalists, have always seen ourselves as partners in development and nothing else because, after all, this country belongs to all of us.
We pray that our colleague Chief Ebrima Manneh, who disappeared in mysterious circumstances in 2006, will come out of nowhere this year to our eternal joy.
We pray that those who take pleasure in harassing or killing journalists around the world would see the value of our work and leave us alone.
We pray that Allah should give us, journalists, the strength to stand up for what is right, regardless of persecution right, left and centre.
We pray that the enemies of press freedom would not die through strange ailments, but would live long enough to see the better society that journalists relentlessly crusade for.
We pray that the killers of Deyda Hydara would be brought to justice this year. We pray that, wherever his killers are hiding, let them be exposed and punished in accordance with the laws of The Gambia.
We pray that those who disagree with journalists would not resort to the gun, but to the pen. We offer the right of reply to any aggrieved person.
We pray that our journalistic values of truth, objectivity and balance will make a difference in the New Year.
We call on President Yahya Jammeh to extend an amnesty to those who might have offended him and up to now remain in detention, for the sake of national unity.
Gambians would also like to see the rule of law given pride of place in the spirit of good governance.
In this case, due process must be followed at all times so that human rights are always seen to be respected.