The Gambia Celebrates 53 Years Of Nationhood
The President of the republic and Commander-In-Chief of the Armed Forces, His Excellency Adama Barrow and the first family joined scores of Gambians at the McCarthy Square in Banjul on Sunday 18 February 2018 to celebrate 53 years of Independence. Also in attendance was the father of the nation and first President of The Gambia, His Excellency Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara, 94, who despite his old age joined the celebrations.
The celebration which took the form of a march pass of the armed and security forces, also saw a procession of school children and voluntary organisations that came to take part in an event meant to celebrate, honor, commemorate, reflect and pay homage to a day and an event that shaped the course of history in the Gambia and the world at large.
The day marks 53 years since the Union Jack was lowered and the Gambian flag hoisted to mark the birth of a new nation, called The Gambia. In addition, it is a day the republic of The Gambia joined HEthe great family of free nations on the 18th February 1965 as an embodiment of an independent and free people. From this day on the 18th of February is set aside each year as a national day in the Gambia to celebrate, reflect and honour this fateful day when the chains of bondage and colonialism were broken and The Gambia became a nation of free and dignified people.
At Independence it had been made clear that the Gambia is now the free home land of the Gambian people; that as a country liberated from the colonial yoke it has Natural Rights. And these rights are the Rights to Sovereignty, Territorial Integrity, Political Independence and Unity.
The Independence Day parade mounted by the Armed and Security Forces was commanded by Lt Col Baboucarr Sanyang and composed of nine (9) detachments from the Gambia Police Force, Immigration Department, Prisons Services, Fire and Rescue Services and Gambia Revenue Authority.
In his address to the school children and the nation on theme: “THE ‘NEW GAMBIA’ FOR REFLECTION AND SOUL-SEARCHING FOR INCLUSIVE NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT”, His Excellency President Adama Barrow noted that we must reflect on the state of our nation over the past 53 years while enumerating some of the achievements of his administration since his assumption of the leadership of this country.
On Justice and Judicial reforms, the President said a Constitutional Review Commission, Truth, Reconciliation and Reparation Commission and the Human Rights Commission have been enacted. To this end, he stated that the executive secretary of the TRRC has also been appointment. In addition, the Security Sector Reform assessment has been completed and it will guide the programme design and implementation by government and her partners.
The Gambia, he said, is therefore open for business and that steps have been taken to facilitate trade and provide incentives for investment in the country. He said that The Gambia is now a country that will benefit from greater openness through international trade. Many investors are exploring the Gambian market and opportunities.
This year’s celebrations have been hailed as historic and arguably the best by observers citing the presence of the former President His Excellency Sir Dawda Kairaba whose presence was also described His Excellency President Adama Barrow in his speech as a vote of confidence in his government and an honour.