By: Landing Ceesay
The Secretary General and leader of the People’s Democratic Organization for Independence and Socialism (PDOIS), Halifa Sallah, has said that for Gambians to have a sovereign republic, there have to be sovereign citizens.
“To be sovereign people, we must acknowledge that power belongs to each sovereign citizen, and collectively, we are the owners of the powers that determine our manner of command. That is the lesson we want every Gambian to take note, that in you power lies and it must be discharged by entrusting that authority to your fellow citizen who is equal, irrespective of ethno-linguistic origins, gender and any other sectoral differences,” he explained.
Preaching equality, Sallah stressed that if Gambians fail to acknowledge that they are citizens of a republic where all of them are equal in sovereignty that no one should divide them on the basis of our religions, ethno-linguistic groups or any other consideration, the country will not develop.
“By virtue of that, we are still ignorant, if we do not acknowledge that we are citizens of a republic where all of us are equal in sovereignty. That no one should divide us on the bases of our religions, ethno-linguistic groups or any other consideration. As long as we do not acknowledge that, we are still ignorant, as long as we do not ignore that, Gambia will never be united and as long as we do not acknowledge that, Gambia will never be developed,” he stressed.
On the perspective whether The Gambia really got true independence in 1965 or in 1970, the PDOIS leader said 1965 was the beginning of the achievement of the right to self-determination and independence as bills passed by elected representatives were approved by the Queen’s representative prior to their implementation.
“18th February, 1965 was the beginning of the achievement of the right to self-determination and independence. Because that time when your elected representative passes a bill it would be assented by the representative of her majesty the queen to become the law of the Gambia. Because she was the executive authority of the land,” Sallah stated.
Halifa continued that the 1965 Constitution was a constitutional monarchy that did not help the Gambia to get its self-determination and Independence. He argued that 24th April, 1970 gave birth to the sovereignty of The Gambia, not the 18th February, 1965.
He said that PDOIS therefore held its first central committee meeting after the congress to remind the Gambians that on the 24th of April, 1970 that the Gambia became a sovereign republic, and that sovereign republic made it possible for PDOIS to hold a congress and to hold a meeting of its central committee.
“When we met on the 24th of April, 2021 at our central committee meeting, we observed that PDOIS is to re-structure for system change, smart government in preparation for the final battle against ignorance and poverty,” PDOIS SG informed.
Sallah, who is also the PDOIS National Assembly member for Serrekunda said the lesson on Gambia’s sovereignty was drawn and taught by PDOIS, and no other political party drew the lesson in the country.
He promised that 24th April annually will be considered as a national day under PDOIS government.
“Nobody talked about 24th of April 2021, and from the inception of PDOIS; we have emphasised that it is a national day. Any day PDOIS takes over the government in this country, 24th of April will be commemorated as national day. That is the foundation of this party. That is the foundation we celebrated the 24th April, 2021 all members of the central committee were reminded that we held a congress to prepare the ground for PDOIS to achieve the aim for which it was established.