After weeks of intense political activities in the country, I am happy to congratulate all Gambians on the successful and peaceful conclusion of the National Assembly elections held on 9th April 2022.
Exercising their rights in what was clearly very keenly contested legislative elections, Gambians made their choice of National Assembly representatives from an unprecedented number of candidates from political parties to Independent candidates.
On behalf of my government and family, and on my own behalf, I express deep gratitude to all the peace-loving Gambians who contributed to this historic achievement.
With warm sentiments, I also congratulate the Independent Electoral Commission, the security services, political parties, Observers, the media and all other stakeholders for the roles they played throughout the electoral process.
The election of diverse political party representatives and independent candidates from different backgrounds is an indication of a vibrant democracy.
Yet again, Gambians have fulfilled a vital constitutional mandate in an amicable manner, thus demonstrating that our democracy is thriving.
It was another test of the credibility and viability of our institutions and the mechanisms and processes we are strongly determined to safeguard and strengthen. To our credit, as Gambians, we have got over the event with remarkable success.
Fellow Gambians, during the political campaigns leading to the 2021 Presidential election and the recently concluded National Assembly elections, the citizens of this nation loudly expressed and showed their passion for efficient public services that would improve their lives and livelihoods. They have demonstrated the desire for stability, sustained good governance, and infrastructural development to boost the performance of all sectors.
It is clear that our people wish to maintain an environment that is peaceful, stable, and secure enough for all citizens, which is one of the top priorities of my government.
These aspirations can be achieved much faster if we work as a united force. In doing so, we need to be service-oriented and committed to the betterment of the people, strive to advance and strengthen our democracy, and observe the principles of peace and justice for all. These are essential elements for good governance and progress, which we cannot ignore.
Ladies and gentlemen, based on party affiliation and trust for some independent candidates, Gambians have duly elected their representatives; none-the-less, we expect all the successful candidates to work together as a legislative body to promote and serve the national interest.
At this point, I must congratulate all the successful candidates on their victories, and call on the remaining contestants to join forces with us and work in the best interest of the nation.
The fact that you were eligible to contest is an achievement in itself. So, bravo to everyone!
In a democracy, we must embrace diversity, and it is significant that, as a country, the Legislature works independently; however, it has to be in partnership with the Executive and the Judiciary to ensure that, jointly, we serve and fulfil the development aspirations of our citizens, within a just environment.
Ladies and gentlemen, I expect all Gambians and non-Gambians alike to realise that these are challenging times. This is a period when global politics and instability continue to impact negatively on our local context. We must be ready, therefore, to take up the challenge of working harder, re-dedicating ourselves to duty, and committing enough time and resources to serve the nation, both in the public and private sectors. We are blessed with a youthful population and should explore and utilise its potential to the fullest.
I will not conclude without emphasising the need for us to continue to nurture our democracy, protect all rights, and respect the freedom of association and speech, as required by law. As mature and cultured people, we must realise that, once elections end, we are duty-bound to unite and serve the country as one people.
Whenever we exercise our political rights and compete in national elections, we do so as actors with different viewpoints, and not as enemies.
It is now time to put behind us the divisive politics and hate speeches that seem to divide the nation. This is the time to re-energise ourselves for nation building so that every citizen becomes a winner.
To reassure everyone, regardless of the results of the elections, the affairs of the entire country and the welfare of every citizen and resident here will remain central in my concerns and focus. Hand in hand, let us all move on.
I pray for the continued peace, progress, prosperity, and security of our people.
Long live The Gambia!
I thank you for your attention.