Wednesday, 02 January 2013 20:03(JollofNews) – President Yahya Jammeh of the Gambia has used his New Year message to defend the execution of nine death row prisoners in the country.
Mr Jammeh said the execution last summer of the death row prisoners including a Senegalese lady was based on the provisions of the Gambian constitution. He warned that in fostering peace and stability in the country, his Government will ‘never compromise’ with ‘criminals’ whose main intention is to stall the country’s progresses.
“When we carried out those executions, we acted within the confines of our national laws, and in accordance with our commitment to the rule of law,” Mr Jammeh said.
He added: “As a nation, we denounce violence in all its forms, and my Government will always maintain zero tolerance for violence, anarchy, murder, rape, drugs, corruption and sadistic criminal disguised in any religion to slaughter innocent people under the name of any cult – I call it cult because none of the main religions Allah’s prophets enjoined any act of violence and mass murder in pursuit of establishing or expanding such a religion.”
Mr Jammeh accused his critics and opponents of ‘hypocritically’ and unnecessarily blowing the executions out of proportion.
He said under his leadership, the Gambia has grown and will continue to grow unabated, for many more years. He added that the country’s economy is expected grow in 2013 due to the good rainy season and increased agricultural output.
He added that to promote and sustain this growth, his Government will continue to maintain and improve on the fiscal discipline and monetary policies implemented throughout the years.
Pledging to continue to serve the country with all his ‘heart and soul’ Mr Jammeh said his Government will also continue to work with the private sector to spur economic growth in order to create more employment opportunities youths.
He added that although the Gambia has under his leadership made a lot of achievement, Gambians have to work much harder with strong patriotic zeal, honesty and total devotion and submission to God if they want to achieve the economic superpower status on time.
He added: “Armed with our strong faith in and fear of Allah driven by strong determination to succeed, working together as one united family of a nation, we shall reach the promised land of highest standards of living where poverty is relegated to the dust bin of history and greater happiness, peace and everlasting prosperity will be the order of the day. In essence an economic superpower that would dwarf the current day military superpowers or economic giants.”
The Gambian leader said as the year 2020 draws near, it is incumbent on Gambians to unite and work together in order to achieve their national targets irrespective of their political differences.
“To transform the Gambia into an economic superpower requires sacrifice, hard work, patriotism and honesty on the path of each and every one of us. There is no other route or short cut,” he said.
Mr Jammeh expressed the need for Gambians to respect each other if they are ‘to remain knitted as one family’.
He added: “It is imperative that we endeavour to understand one another and avoid inflicting discomfort or pain on anyone else. As we gear up for the New Year, we should be ready to take advantage of the opportunities that lie ahead for this great country. I am confident that, together, we can surely build and transform this country into one that will be the envy of the world.”
He said the Gambia under his leadership will continue to uphold the banner of peace, development and cooperation and adhere to a foreign policy of peaceful coexistence and respect for one another’s sovereignty.
He added that as part of his desire to help build a harmonious world of lasting peace and prosperity for all peoples, his Government will continue to develop and strengthen friendly cooperation with all friendly nations and participate actively in efforts by the international community to deal with global issues.
Written by PK Jarju
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