Thursday, 27 December 2012 17:28(JollofNews) – President Yahya Jammeh of the Gambia has called on his people to jealously and zealously nurture and safeguard the peaceful coexistence that characterises life in the West African state.
Mr Jammeh said his people should learn from the horrendous consequences of religious intolerance in other parts of the world and must not take the peace and tranquillity they enjoy in the country for granted.
He said his Government will continue to maintain zero tolerance for racism, corruption, violence, homosexuality, drugs, rape and religious intolerance of whatever form.
In a televised Christmas message, Mr Jammeh said as Jesus strove to unite all peoples and nations as servant of one God, Gambians must also strive to care for and share with each other, heal broken families, restore friendships, reconcile divided communities; and reinforce their sense of belonging and respect for one another.
He added: “For those endowed with religious faith, Jesus Christ epitomises peace and salvation and so must this be reflected in the celebration of his birth. However, for there to be lasting peace, it must be anchored on a solid foundation, or else, it will remain elusive or illusionary.
“Furthermore, it will be enjoyed only momentarily, unless we value and nourish in our hearts the humane sentiments of brotherhood and sisterhood occasioned by the common origin and the ultimate destiny we share; the one and only God.”
Mr Jammeh said the knowledge that all humankind is one family created by God has dispelled the justification for any inclination towards negative tendencies such as racism, greed and pride which trigger hate, dissension, violent wars and other acts of atrocities.
He added: “Contingent on this, it is necessary to overcome and dismiss evil ideas and beliefs that spur humanity to injustice, rebellion, destruction or unwarranted use of force. The myth or misnomers of the supremacy of any race, ethnic grouping, nation or other categorisations are serious obstacles to the much needed integrated life of humans and nations for peaceful cohabitation.
It is necessary, therefore, to impose on ourselves the moral principles and discipline grounded in the divine teachings of right reason and of the true Christian doctrine of good neighbourliness, righteousness and worship of the one and only true God Almighty.
“Further to this, enlightened and armed with the word of God, we must allow justice to prevail for all human beings, regardless of colour, creed, religion or any other type of perceived distinction. This will eventually defuse tension and conflict, settle disputes peacefully, make tasks easier, define our duties and provide just answers to claims and counterclaims that may be made by all disputing parties.”
Mr Jammeh called on his people to use the festive period to remember the sufferings of vulnerable men, women, children and the elderly in conflicts areas of the world.
He said people living in countries like Syria, Palestine, Afghanistan, Myanmar, Mali and D.R. Congo are suffering from the anxieties and miseries of life, and to whom Christmas should bring a sweet ray of comfort and hope.
“These victimised people do not preclude the sick and the infirm, who need to be recipients of devoted attention and very special affection,” he said.
He added: “There are also those that are suffering in spirit or in their hearts due to uncertainties of the future or of economic hardships or of unjustifiable humiliation imposed upon them.”
Written by PK Jarju
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