By Own Correspondent – Halifa Sallah, spokesperson of the opposition Peoples Democratic Organisation for Independence and Socialism (PDOIS), has described the year 2011 as not an ordinary one.
“It is a year of contemplation, stocktaking and decision-making,” he said in his New Year message. “Awareness is the key to sound decision-making. The APRC is transforming the year to one of patronage and fanfare. PDOIS will transform it into a year of information sharing and awareness-raising so that patronage and fanfare will not stifle the sovereign will of the Gambian people to become the architects of their own destiny.”
The message dealt with issues ranging from the inter-party committee, boundaries commission, political and social rights, health, economic rights, sub-regional and regional integration among others.
According to Mr Sallah, the PDOIS leadership wishes to draw the attention of leaders of all the political parties in The Gambia in particular and all civic leaders in general to their irrevocable duty to ensure that a Gambia is built where all may live in prosperity, freedom and peace each day. “It is our candid view that wherever there is prosperity and liberty there will be unity, peace and happiness,” he said.
The erudite political commentator said: “Political parties have the duty to enact the instruments, build the institutions and formulate the policies that should bring about the prosperity, freedom and peace that the people need and aspire to, once they are given the mandate to lead.”
“They must make preparations to meet those needs and aspirations while waiting as opposition forces to be given the opportunity to lead. This signifies the essence of a functioning multiparty system.”
Sallah expressed hope that the leadership of all political parties in the country shall bear in mind that leadership is not an entitlement or a right ascribed to be monopolised by any particular individual, family, ethnic group or other lineages; on the contrary, it is a duty to be entrusted by the people, irrespective of their individual characteristics, to persons of their choice regardless of their origin.
This duty to lead, he notes, should be performed to promote the welfare of all, without fear or favour, affection or ill will.