By Ousman A. Marong
Gambian president, Adama Barrow has vowed that the Novel Coronavirus, COVID-19 will not slow down the country’s development progress.
Delivering his Independence Day speech at the McCarthy Square in Banjul on Thursday, he stated that despite the challenges, the country is inspired to overcome the obstacles that tend to slow down the nation’s progress. He added that the huddles brought by the pandemic will only strengthen his government’s determination to succeed.
“We are more determined today than ever,” he said. He called on citizens to be confident and determine towards success despite the deadly pandemic. He said this year’s independence celebrations marked the end of his government’s three-year National Development Plan (NDP).
“Our target is to maintain a robust education system that delivers results based on the needs of learners and stakeholders. I advise you, boys and girls, to be more ambitious. Learn to research for knowledge and utilize it to the advantage of society as a whole,” he remarked.
He also called for rejection of drugs, crime, ethnic rivalry, all vices that are harmful, and an obstacle to one’s wellbeing and those around them.
President Barrow further called on all and sundry to work together in achieving our development goals and national unity.
“We have witnessed how partisan politics and conflict pull people apart and undermine the power and glory of nations”, he said further.
The head of state said the time has come for Gambians to courageously look into the future with optimism, accept one another, patch up our differences, and find ways of working together in the interest of the nation. He went on to call for national unity, reconciliation and tolerance, saying the true Gambian nature is marked by warmth, sympathy, generosity and willingness to support one another.
President Barrow said the forthcoming presidential elections provide an opportunity for all Gambians to display political prudence and discipline bound by democratic values.