“A nation that is united because of the patriotism of her citizens is a nation that will always succeed in this 21st Century and beyond. United by purpose patriotism and faith, our beloved motherland, The Gambia will soon become an economic super power as we are endowed with all what is needed to propel this nation into greater prosperity.”
These are the words of The Gambian leader Yahya Jammeh on the occasion of the country’s 46th Independence Anniversary on February 18, 2011. This year, the anniversary is celebrated in bits and pieces and the president’s statement is being read on his behalf by various Council and Regional Administrative heads.
With the capital, Banjul and the Kanifing Municipality being the only regions to mark the event on the day, other regions are set to follow suit on the days ahead. The theme for this year’s anniversary is “Unity through Patriotism, We can build a Better, more Prosperous Gambia.”
And President Jammeh said his government’s objective is and will always be to make The Gambia the best country in the whole world placing “my faith and conviction in greatness and benevolence to the Almighty Allah and a united and patriotic honest citizenry.”
According to him, no divided nation can ever be a great and prosperous nation or an economic super power, urging Gambians to forget tribes, religions and politics and unite to build a better Gambia that the whole world would be envious of.
“Whiles we appreciate external support, especially from our traditional friends and partners in development, it is simply suicidal for us as a nation to rely entirely on these sources, with arms folded and expect that we will become an economic super power and best country to live in,” Jammeh said.
He added that people who have witnessed the colonial era, the first and second republic are living witnesses to the progress made and the improvements these have brought about in promoting better living standards.
“46 years on, despite these achievements, we should all recognize the added unrelenting effort that is needed to make The Gambia the world’s biggest and brightest success story of the millennium when it comes to peaceful development, progress and prosperity,” he said.
“Youths constitute the prized gem of any nation. I am not happy that despite the slow pace, and the fact that a lot remains to be done, the youths of this country are gradually coming out to assume their responsibilities in nation-building.”
To students, President Jammeh said they should take their studies seriously, and remember that for as long as they are ready to study, the sky is the only limit to the support that his government would provide.