I thank and praise the Almighty Allah for granting us the blessing of witnessing the end of Ramadan, once again. With delight, I congratulate the Muslim community on this great occasion of Eid ul-Fitr and I pay tribute to all Muslims for having observed the month of Ramadan.
Ramadan is a holy month that is held in high esteem for the immense blessings and mercies associated with it.
The ultimate benefits that arise from fasting should positively and permanently impact our lives and transform us in all aspects of our being.
The main trust of Ramadan is about abstaining from eating, drinking and all sinful acts; however, this is meant to make us better people, better neighbors and more God-fearing believers. The process of self-training and spiritual cleansing is meant to lead us to decent and honest lives. The efforts we put into restraining ourselves during the holy month, should be reminders value we should maintain beyond Ramadan.
The ethical values of fasting ranging from sincerity, humility, discipline, generosity, uprightness, patience to being of service to God and nation are universal values that shade our economic and socio-political lives. Therefore, we must regard such noble values as Gambians.
We must continue to discharging our responsibilities in pursuing our national goals including maintaining a peaceful and stable country.
As such, the values of hard work and discipline should characterize our approach to service, performance and output; be this in the office, on the farm, at home, or away from home. To realize our national goals, youth involvement in national development is most crucial. As a result, our youth should undertake useful engagements that would bring out the best in them as productive and useful citizens.
During Ramadan, both fasting and non-fasting communities co-exist in perfect harmony, with each group amicably leading their daily lives and engaged in both spiritual and non-spiritual matters.
This projects how we can and must live together in harmony, despite any differences we may have. The reality is that no matter what our worldview is, the outcomes of our thoughts and actions have to be constructive, productive, progressive in the best interest of humankind.
Our national vision and the goals we pursue accord perfectly with these ideals. My government strives for nothing but the progress, prosperity and development of The Gambia and its people. In this pursuit, I stretch out a hand of friendship and invite all citizens, friends, partners and well-wishers to join us in the quest to develop the country and maintain peace and stability.
I implore all Gambians to live by these ideals in order that we rededicate ourselves to the nation and to the welfare of humanity. The eventual outcome of this disposition is a better society that supports the strong and effective institutions we seek to establish.
As we look forward to the rainy season, let us pray for a very peaceful and productive season; but, without doubt, it is our duty to work hard enough in order to boost our agricultural production. This is especially relevant and more advantageous for the unemployed youth. The Gambia is blessed with vast arable land; so, let us to make the most of it.
This serves as a reminder that growing more trees to mitigate the effects of climate change and preserve our forest cover is as pressing as cultivating crops for either subsistence or business.
The policy of my government continues to revolve around encouraging and supporting everyone, including the private sector, to undertake farming – whether as a need, an occupation or as a business venture. In this regard, the Ministry of Agriculture is currently arranging for timely access to farm inputs and implements.
On the occasion of the feast of Eid ul-Fitr, I pay homage to all our religious leaders, and I thank all of them for the service they continue to render, especially in enjoining good and forbidding evil and disunity.
In appreciation, we acknowledge the work of the Supreme Islamic Council and all religious bodies. I commend them for striving to unite the nation and encourage them to keep up this noble work.
We may have our differences but the fact remains that we can unite as one nation. We may hold varying worldviews and beliefs, but the reality is that we share the same geographical boundaries and are bound by a common destiny. In truth, the elements that can unite us are much more significant and stronger than our perceived differences.
I pray that the love of God, the love of our land and the love of our families unite us. I pray further that we lead fruitful and blessed lives to witness many more feasts.
I wish you all a happy and peaceful Eid ul Fitr.