“Victory for a free Gambia is more than a desire or a want, it is a must. But a free Gambia is not attainable without a united Gambia and a united Gambia starts with a united civil society in the Diaspora,” the Chairperson of The Gambia Youth for Unity told a press conference. Mr. Omar Bah’s entire speech is published below:
Thank you to all of you for taking the time to join us today on this press conference.
Our country is at a defining moment in its history. This moment, that our fellow citizens are in can either be made right or allowed to have a sky fall into anarchy and perpetual lawlessness. We know it is a matter of choice – a choice we have to make; a decision that would affect many generations of Gambians starting from ours.
It is against this backdrop that we The Gambian youth in the diaspora came together in the spirit of our national pledge ‘to lead us to achieve the progress that we all desire’ by standing ‘together as one people, with one goal, and move forward as a nation.’
Over the years, we grew up to become the young men and women we are, knowing you our fathers and mothers, uncles and aunties have made ultimate sacrifices in ensuring that we grew up in freedom and liberty with our very rights secured and guaranteed. There is no doubt that you all fought daily for the best interest of we the future generation of Gambians, and there is no doubt that you fought all these decades to give us your children the best possible start in life.
We are all proud of you, and what you have done and we thank you.
This is why, we the youth will not let that sacrifice go away in vain.
We know your Gambian dream and we share those wishes with you – a wish for a truly liberated and free Gambia, where when you work hard, you get rewarded adequately for a job well done, be able to provide for your family, have quality education and good health care for your children, have economic freedom – all accompanied by good governance, justice, democracy and respect for human rights, dignity and self-worth.
In fact, these are Gambian values deeply rooted in our society that we all cherish.
Unfortunately, our nation have lost these values over the decades. And it is time we restore them not to The Gambia we know or used to know, but to The Gambia that will be a shining example and beacon of hope to all other nations. A Gambia that we can all be proud of.
We know this is what the many civil society organizations in the Diaspora want to do. We recognize this as we do the same for all your tireless efforts.
This is why we formed The Gambia Youth For Unity. To ask you our civil society and political leaders to come together. Our national pledge has taught us that ‘if we insist on pursuing our personal goals without keeping our collective objectives and responsibilities in mind, then indeed we shall fall.’ If we fall we are going to fail. That means the many decades of hard work you our elders put into achieving our collective objectives – freedom and democracy, respect for our human rights and social justice, good education and health care, economic and social development, accountability and transparency, guaranteed security and good governance – will all be in vain.
We do not want that, neither do any of you. If there is a failure, then we all lose. If there is victory, then we are all triumphant. A failure means hardship for many generations to come but a victory means success for many generations to come as well. Victory for a free Gambia is more than a desire or a want, it is a must. But a free Gambia is not attainable without a united Gambia and a united Gambia starts with a united civil society in the Diaspora.
We recognize this, so do you!
This is why, we are here not to be seen as a group, but as your children who are united to galvanize collective action by our many civil society organizations and political leaders in the Diaspora that would finally help drive us all to a room of thinkers and idealist who will come together to build a crystally clear map – a blueprint of unity that will free The Gambia from decades of dictatorship, bad governance, injustice, misrule, and mis-prioritized policies.
We are here to work with you all, so you can all come together for the sake of us your children, the future generation of The Gambia. We are here so you can all come under one umbrella to leave us, The Gambian children, with a better country than we see now. We are here so you can all come together to pledge our firm allegiance and renew that promise of unity. We are here so we can all be one, to have a nation where ‘justice guides our action towards our common good.’ That is a Gambia where we can all survive and thrive. That is the Gambia we all want, a Gambia we can all call home and a home we can all be proud of.
We your children, the future of The Gambia, came together in the highest spirit of unison and harmony, as a driving force to bring you our parents together.
The Gambia Youth for Unity is here to help bring all civil society organization and Diaspora leaders under one umbrella for a free and progressive Gambia for all. Remember, a Gambia fit for we your children, is a Gambia fit for all.