Wednesday, March 22

Advocate nationalism, Barrow tells journalists, vows to use laws

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He made this statement on Saturday at the re-launching of the monthly nationwide cleansing exercise.

Speaking to journalists at Churchill’s Town, President Barrow stated: “I think the journalists can advocate for us. The media is very important in this by sensitising the people and making sure they believe in their country. Nationalism is something very important because if you remember from 1965 to the 70s, even if it’s a national day, people used to come out by 6am but now even on Independence Day, nobody goes out.

“We have to restore that because it is important and key. Let us be united because if we are united, it is a force that will make sure we succeed as a country. We have the laws in place and it’s time to use the laws. Democracy is all about laws and processes. Those processes are in place and I think it is better we implement it.”

The country’s number one further explained that his government discussed and realised that there is a need to clean the environment, citing that if one is clean, it keeps him/her healthy. He added that ‘Set-Settal’ used to happen but differently from his government’s initiative.

He said the previous government used to force the people to close their businesses and stop the movement of vehicles. However, he said he doesn’t believe in doing so, as it is not his policy.

Barrow reiterated that “cleanliness is health and health is wealth” while adding that it took a long time before his government decided to restart the exercise due to some considerations.

“It’s democracy and if you want to do things, it should be considered properly, as it can sometimes be a challenge to the people. And we are the servants of the people. We now think it’s time to come out to do the exercise because littering is too much in our environment.”

If his government is able to implement the anti-littering law, it will take care of the problems, Barrow said, adding that his government would call the institutions responsible to implement those laws.

He further called on Gambians to volunteer, not on monthly basis but every day to clean the environment.

On why he visited the cleaning locations and sites, Barrow said: “Leadership is a big responsibility and the presidency is a privileged position. It is a position of trust because people have confidence in you the president; hence you have to lead and in that leadership, you have to come out to make sure people see the leadership in you. That’s why I came out to join in cleaning the nation.”