National pride is an underlining factor for national development. One has to have the love for their nation before they get to think of sacrificing for its development. Individuals come and go, but the nation remains. How we are remembered by succeeding generations of Gambians is determined by the legacy we leave behind.
The theme of this year’s 22nd July anniversary is rather well placed in that it captures this reality. Whatever this government does is geared towards putting the interest of the country at the fore.
Otherwise, in situations like this, given the extreme popularity commanded by the APRC party, other people would rather have propagated their individual ideologies, instigating personality cultism, at the expense of the entire Gambian nation. But the proponents of this landmark revolution which has impacted greatly on the lives of the people have chosen to plant a seed of loyalty and of patriotism in the hearts of the masses, especially the youth - all in the true interest of the nation.
Before July 22nd, 1994, very few Gambians knew the true meaning of nationalism. That was in fact the basis of the underpinning reality of the status quo, prior to the advent of the revolution.
Today the tide has turned. When President Jammeh speaks, he talks about transforming The Gambia into a country that every single citizen will derive pride from; he talks about loyalty to the nation; he talks about patriotism, he talks about participation in national development, etc. And it was not a surprise that this day commemorating a revolution he is the architect of has the befitting theme of ‘Independence and national pride.’
It does not matter who is at the driving seat; what matters is what we achieve collectively in the advancement of the nation; a nation we all belong to, regardless of our varying inclinations. If it has to take President Yahya Jammeh to steer the affairs of the country to glory, well, it should be seen as a divine sanction. And he certainly has not failed us.
In fact, he has gone far beyond our expectations. All he needs from us now is more support.
But we must be careful not to mistake this support His Excellency himself has relentlessly been calling for to mean mere lip service. We all, one way or the other, have a role to play in the development of the country.