By Adama Tine
President Adama Barrow has called on all political leaders and supporters to unite in spite of their differences, saying they must be bound by their common desire for national development, peace and prosperity.
“Let us unite the people and avoid tearing the nation apart,” he pleaded in his New Year Message to the nation.
“To all political leaders and supporters, I reiterate the point that, despite the divergent routes we opt to follow, we are bound by the common desire for national development, peace and prosperity. Let us unite the people, and avoid tearing the nation apart,” he stated.
President Barrow said 2021 would go down in the history of The Gambia as a dramatically significant year.
“The high voter turnout in the December 4th Presidential Election is not without high expectations from the electorate. Peace, stability, reconciliation, justice, and socio-economic and political development are particularly of general concern. As a result, we must work together to fulfil these expectations.”
“I plead that we renew our commitment to working as a nation for accelerated development, using vigorous processes and procedures to ensure that there is justice for all,” he said.
He added: “Together, we can make 2022 a fulfilling year of progress, love and reconciliation by embracing our cultural differences, celebrating our citizenship as Gambians and making the most of our resources. Like 2016, 2021 will go down in the history of The Gambia as a dramatically significant year.”
According to him, looking back, the year began with the prolonged calamities of coronavirus, which affected all sectors and hindered the full implementation of national development programmes.
President Barrow noted that although this was a global trend, “we thankfully appreciate that The Gambia is not as badly hit as many other countries, including the most developed ones”.
“Our determination as a people and focus as a government fortified our resilience and helped us to live with the pandemic. We thank God for this.”
He recalled that another incident of the year worth mentioning was the unfortunate 7th July windstorm that led to loss of lives and left many people devastated, most notably in the North Bank Region, Kanifing and West Coast Region.
“Obviously, therefore, 2021 was not all rosy. This notwithstanding, we registered remarkable achievements across all sectors.”
President Barrow said the year provided opportunities to strengthen The Gambia bilateral and multilateral cooperation, saying that the support and collaboration from regional and international partners were significant and invaluable.
“Our democracy is now vibrant, and all citizens are at liberty to express themselves freely within the framework of the law. The Government is proud to observe that there are no political prisoners in any Gambian prison, and no media house has closed down due to government interference,” he pointed out.