By Mama A. Touray
H.E President Adama Barrow on Saturday at the commemoration of the fifty-eight independence of the Gambia said his government is determined to unite the Gambian people to work together.
Annually Gambians observe 18th February as a National Day to renew ties and commitments as a nation, as it is a day that creates opportunities for solidarity, reflection, and re-dedication to the Gambia, and this year, it was celebrated under the theme of democracy a recipe for peace and development.
Speaking to Gambians at the independence anniversary day held at McCarthy Square in Banjul, President Barrow said “My government is determined to unite the people to work together for peace and development and leave behind durable achievements. Our governance approach and development initiatives illustrate our commitment to democracy and how we have successfully used it as a development model.
President Barrow continued that “In Gambia’s model of democracy, the government legitimately derives its mandate and authority from the people and, hence, must defend their values and principles, beliefs and practices, aspirations and social structures and that there is harmony between the government and the people.”
However, H.E added that his government is convinced that democracy is a framework to attain peace, development, and stability and that his government is duly committed to good governance entrenched in the principles of democracy as they believe in democracy for peace and development, as well as democracy for self-determination, economic growth and protection of human dignity, we believe in inclusive democracy for inclusive development and stability.
“We are compelled to co-exist as Gambians and should accept the wisdom and necessity of living together in peace and harmony to develop our homeland, despite our diverse opinions and interests, fortunately, our differences can be harmonised by democracy as a political system and a social process in our family systems, communities, institutions, organisations and the nation at large” he expressed.
Meanwhile, he stated that as defined in the National Development Plan and Vision 2050, his government outlines measures on how to recover from the effects of the pandemic, inflation, and climate change and that Gambians must work hard, and look into the future with guided optimism and readiness to overcome challenges.
He added that, unlike natural disasters, his government has full control over the choice to act civilly and democratically to maintain peace and develop the country together. While urging Gambians to make a conscious choice to demonstrate that they are indeed the Smiling Coast of West Africa and a democratic nation of peace, especially during the forthcoming Local Government Elections.
“In all genuine democracies, like ours, there are adequate checks and balances to prevent unlawful actions, as the Law provides a level playing field for all citizens; as such, living by the Law ensures that we do not offend anyone and, thereby, co-exist in peace and harmony. “Peace must imply living in a safe environment where lives and property are protected, and hunger, poverty, and disease do not cause any suffering. Through our thoughts and actions, peace must also filter through to every segment of our communities, families, and institutions,” he stressed.