The Republic of the Gambia was born on the 24 of April 1970.Our Republic is now 50 years old. It is no longer a young Republic. It has reached middle age.

It came into consummate the right to self -determination and Independence and accord our people liberty, dignity and prosperity.

We intended to hold major events to draw the attention of the nation on the significance of the day which marked the end of the sovereignty or the British crown and heralded the beginning of the sovereignty of the Gambian people.

However, the threat posed by COVID-19 in further impoverishing our people and holding them as hostage to death has compelled us to push the agenda forward to a more appropriate time and circumstances.

Europe is being devastated by the virus more than any region and instead of lamenting over the past colonial arrogance we have to acknowledge the humbling effect of COVID- 19.

It is clear to all that we need to build a new world order which the virus has made easier to achieve. The fatalists cannot help us build a new world order. Only the realists can. The virus is coming with a double edged sword. We must fight the virus and poverty at the same time. The war is against the virus and poverty. Those who want to focus on either the virus or poverty alone are one-sided in their vision. We must focus on both.

A s we remember the 50th birthday of the Republic we should remind ourselves that the world today is engrossed with the battle of interests We are on the side of the people and their interest is what we are determined to safeguard at all cost. We must struggle to be our own thinkers. We must become the architects of our own destiny. This time we will triumph and liberate, not only ourselves alone but human kind as a whole.