Gambian youths have vowed to defend the ideals and philosophy of the July 22nd Revolution and promised to vote massively for the candidate of the ruling Alliance for Patriotic Re-Orientation and Construction (APRC), His Excellency Sheikh Professor Alhaji Dr Yahya Jammeh, Babili Mansa, in the December 1 Presidential Election.
The young people of the country made this pledge through the National APRC Youth Mobiliser, Hon. Babou Gaye Sonko as he delivered a statement on their behalf at the opening of the national youth conference held at the Regional Education Directorate as part of activities of the first-ever APRC National Youth Rally held in Basse, Upper River Region.
Tens of thousands of young people drawn from across the country gathered in the provincial town of Basse for this all-important five-day Rally. The purpose of the rally is for the youth of the country to return gratitude to the leadership for the numerous developments, while renewing their undivided loyalty and support to the APRC party.
Hon. Babou Gaye Sonko said Gambian youths irrespective of their political affiliation owe obligation to President Jammeh and his government, adding that each youth of the country has in one way or the other benefitted and continue to benefit from the benevolent gesture of the Gambian leader. He said for the past 22 years the country has enjoyed peace and stability and the rapid infrastructural development in all aspects of national development across the country.
“Our fundamental aim [as young people] of the country is how to jealously safeguard the development that is ongoing on a daily basis in the country,” he said, adding that the young people of the country should focus on activities that will generate income for the country; such as welding and entrepreneurship, among others.
The APRC National Youth Mobiliser affirmed that the Gambian youths are ready and willing to vote massively for President Jammeh thereby ensure he records another landslide victory in the Presidential Election.
The Speaker of the National Assembly, Hon. Alhaji Abdoulie Bojang noted the significance of the Rally, more especially the youth conference, which he said will avail youths and other party militants the opportunity to come under one platform and discuss openly and honestly on how to consolidate the gains registered by the APRC Government for the past 22 years.
Speaker Bojang said every Gambian is aware of the rapid developments that the country is witnessing under the leadership of Professor Jammeh. “Since 1994; whether you know it or not there is a development project or laying of a foundation stone of a new project that is taking place in the country, of which mostly the young people of the country are the beneficiaries,” he told the conference delegates.
This, he said is a clear indication that no party in the country can challenge the great APRC party, thus he called on the conference delegates to participate well and come with good ideas geared towards the sustainability of the party.
“What we want is to see that President Jammeh leads the party and the country until he retires, thereafter, someone will be identified and lead the party in which President Jammeh and all militants will support the individual,” he affirmed.
For his part, the Minister of Works and Infrastructure, who doubles as APRC party Secretary General, Hon. Bala Gaba Jahumpa, dwelled on the importance of the youth rally, while urging Gambian youths to redouble their support to the APRC Government with a view to enable President Jammeh accomplish his development aspiration for the country more especially for the young people.
According to the outspoken politician, since 1994 the President of the Islamic Republic of The Gambia, President Jammeh, has trained and supported the empowerment of lots of Gambian youths who today are contributing effectively towards national development crusade.
Commenting on some of the development projects that have been registered under the APRC Government, Minister Jahumpha cited the Sankulay Kunda Bridge in CRR, Chamoi and Sare Alpha bridges in URR, the establishment of youth empowerment initiatives such as NEDI, NYC among others.
He said for the 30 years of President Jawara’s Government, there was no university established and poor road conditions were the order of the day across the country. He went on to salute President Jammeh for bringing about the needed development beyond the expectations of many Gambians.
He revealed that plans are at an advanced stage to construct the Basse-Fatoto-Koina Road, while the Laminkoto-Pasamas Road construction has commenced. He informed that the Government also plans to bridge the ferry-crossing point linking Basse and Kerewan Badala in Wuli West.
On her part, the Minister of Basic and Secondary Education and APRC Party Treasurer, Dr. Aja Fatou Lamin Faye, enjoins Gambian youths to take sense of responsibilities and grab the opportunities provided to them by the Government of President Jammeh, while calling on active participation among the delegates and urged them to spread the messages from the conference to their respective communities.
APRC, she said, is known for being a violence-free political party, thus she urged the party supporters and militants to exercise maximum discipline during the campaign period, election time and after the election. “If someone comes and insult you don’t fight the individual just go with your voting card and vote for the development-oriented party,” she advised party militants.
The APRC National Mobiliser General, Mayor Yankuba Colley, said Gambian youths will continue to rally behind President Jammeh, taking into account the developments and empowerment he has brought to their doorsteps.
He recalled that during the last Presidential Election the women recorded about 75%, saying Gambian youths are ready to record 90% victory for President Jammeh in this year’s election.
“We are not here in fact to talk about the opposition because if we talk about them we are just taking ourselves backward,” he said, noting that during the former government, all the government key positions were given to the old people. However, he went on, President Jammeh made history by appointing young people to senior government positions.
Speaking earlier in his welcome remarks, the host Governor, Alhaji Omar Sompo Ceesay; and the Regional APRC Youth Mobiliser, Alhaji Mawdo Susso, both highlighted the importance of the Rally and the upcoming Presidential Election.
The duo said the young people of the region and the country at large are ready for the December Election and that come December 2 President Jammeh would be declared winner.
The opening ceremony of the conference was followed by a symposium characterised by deliberations from key individuals who all spoke of the important role of young people in the development of the country.
Hon. Musa Amul Nyassi, Minister of Regional Government, Lands and Traditional Rulers; Momodou Sabally, Director General of The Gambia Radio and Television Services; Bakary Jaiteh, alias Bakso; and Councillor Ebrima Cham of Sukuta Ward, among a host of other speakers all took the floor to commend the President for the unprecedented developments he has ushered in.
by Alieu Ceesay &
Momodou Jawo in Basse