Barely 24 hours following the conferment of national awards on them by the government of The Gambia under the leadership of His Excellency the President, Gambians in the Diaspora have been reacting to the development.
Samsudeen Sarr, the Gambia’s Deputy Head of Mission to the United Nations said even without such an award by the President, they are absolutely grateful for who he is and the extent to which he devotes his energy and goodwill of ensuring the welfare and progress of all Gambians. This, he emphasised, apparently makes them very proud of the President and The Gambia in general.
“You have through your great mind, compassionate heart and humble soul. You have always dug deeper and found the unprecedented strength to push forward on the issues that affect us all, especially when it comes down to our safety, security and general welfare,” Sam Sarr said of the President Jammeh while speaking to the Daily Observer.
“On behalf of my colleagues in the Diaspora and on my own behalf I express my profound gratitude and adoration to His Excellency the President, Sheikh Professor Alhaji Dr. Yahya A. J. J. Jammeh Babili Mansa for recognising and including us among the outstanding Gambians decorated in a special ceremony at the State House in Banjul as an acknowledgement of our unique contribution to the success of the historic 22nd July 1994 Revolution.”
He continued: “I cannot in words express how flattered I felt together with the entire members of my family for being among those specially chosen to receive such a prestigious award which from an objective analysis signifies the appreciation and trust the President has for us in the Diaspora. My only regret to this benevolence and triumph was my physical absence on the ground to directly receive the trophy from the noble hands of the great visionary, HE President Jammeh. Nevertheless, it ended up providing me with all the desired satisfaction after being well represented by family members and friends.”
According to him, for the President to identify, among the dignitaries selected, twenty one Gambians in the Diaspora underpins his genuine respect for the satisfactory role they [Diaspora Gambians] are all playing to promote and consolidate his vision of nation building that in effect furthermore boosts their courage and resilience to remain ever loyal and dedicated to do more.
“You have also instilled in us the fundamental tenet that the free people we are supposed to be as independent Gambians. That as free people we must be respected in a way that protects us from any devious actions that might undermine or destroy the sanctity of our lives to live peacefully and harmoniously. Indeed, the policies and positions that your government sets forth has been embracing and enhancing our journey for our peaceful coexistence on our best terms and not on terms unacceptably prescribed by aliens having no respect or understanding of the challenges we face in our nation. So once again Mr. President, speaking on behalf of your supporters, well-wishers and admirers in the Diaspora, I will conclude by further pledging my strongest support to you and your entire government while maintaining the firm belief in continuing to articulate the position of respect you demand of all nations and leaders to show towards the Islamic Republic of The Gambia, its government and people,” he remarked.
Sarr further noted that as agent of change since 22nd July 1994, the President has always been mandated with strength by the majority of the Gambian people to keep them safe, secure and happy.
“May the Almighty Allah bless you and your whole family and continue to guide you in the deliverance of your noble responsibilities to the Gambian people and humanity as a whole.”
Foday Chorr, the Secretary General of the APRC Chapter in the United Kingdom, was among the 21 Diaspora Gambians that were awarded and he also spoke to the Daily Observer in an interview.
“We are honoured and privileged to have received these awards from His Excellency Sheikh Professor Alhaji Dr. Yahya AJJ Jammeh Babili Mansa and feel truly humbled. I personally have had the great fortune to be part of a much wider team whom together has now also launched the UK APRC Chapter. The effort and commitment of all of those involved has been unwavering and the success would not have been possible without their combined and coordinated efforts,’’ Chorr affirmed.
‘’As Gambians in the Diaspora we have borne witness to a cascading amount of inaccurate and false information of our motherland and have felt compelled to challenge and correct information to ensure that Gambians particularly within the Diaspora are not manipulated by populist media lies. This has been driven by a passion for our homeland, families living back home in our beloved country and fellow Gambians who deserve to live in continued peace and stability. We support and acknowledge the progress that has been made in The Gambia under President Yahya Jammeh since the July 22nd Revolution 22 years ago. We have seen massive improvements in health, education, infrastructure and articles of good and effective governance. Myself and the rest of the APRC chapter, Gambia One Radio and Unifying Newspaper and Radio must also acknowledge the support given to us by our friends and family and those back home in The Gambia who have been able to provide us with reliable and accurate information, without which our task would have been made much more difficult. Thanks too must be extended to those closest to us who have and continue to provide encouragement and support in pursuing our endeavours.’’
Mamie Jallow, another Gambian based in Atlanta, US said; ‘’I appreciate the award; I woke up with tears of joy on Saturday August 21, when I heard that I was one of those in the Diaspora conferred a national award by our dynamic President of the Islamic Republic of The Gambia His Excellency Sheikh Professor Alhaji Dr. Yahya AJJ Jammeh Babili Mansa Nancho Jun kele-falah. He surprised us by awarding us in the Diaspora. I want to express gratitude and appreciation to him and May Allah surprise him, the best of what he want.
‘’We the women in the Diaspora appreciate him for putting women first and for always considering us, rewarding us and standing for us even in trials and tribulations. He always makes sure that we are not left behind and do not have to depend on the men as it used to be. We are definitely grateful for that and we will continue to pray for him to achieve whatever his ambitions and goals are for the future of The Gambia.’’
Also speaking to Daily Observer was Pa Modou Mbowe the Public Relations Officers for the APRC UK Chapter. He praised the Almighty Allah for making it possible to be awarded and by extension his family, who have been very supportive all the way through.
‘’We’ve come a long way, even though we have a very long way to go, in taking our responsibilities as worthy citizens to ensure that the Government’s development blueprints are adhered to and put in practice. Thank you Your Excellency for recognising our selfless services to the land we all love, called The Smiling Coast of Africa. We are indeed humbled and honoured to receive such awards and certificates of merit which will serve as a catalyst to quantify the quality standards you and your Government already sets,” he affirmed.
‘’Finally, I would urge all and sundry to roll our sleeves and make our hands dirty in National Development which can only happen in a peaceful coexistence. The Gambia is on the rise and will In Shaa Allah continue to do so defying all odds under the dynamic and visionary leadership of the people’s President, the Miracle and Practical Commander-in-Chief, Babili Mansa. We love you Sir and we are ready to put our lives at stake for your leadership and I want congratulations in advance for the forthcoming election victory In Shaa Allah come December, 1. We pledge our firm allegiance and our promise we renew August 20, 2016 and every day thereafter,” Mbowe concluded.
by Musa Ndow