Banjul, Gambia(PANA) - Ousainou Darboe, leader of opposition United Democratic Party (UDP), Thursday described 2020 as a tough year when many lost loved ones as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
“As we continue to pray for those who have departed, and those who are sick and in bed, we must continue to stay safe and remember that this virus knows no boundaries,” he said in a nationwide Christmas message here.
He added: “We must be grateful for being alive and for being in good health. But most of all, we must as a society, exercise religious tolerance, embrace each other as one and take the opportunity during this Festive Season to share love and kindness to those who need it the most.”
“May the special occasion of Christmas bring peace, joy and good will to you, your families and your loved ones. “May the Christmas end the present year on a cheerful note and make way for a fresh and bright New Year in anticipation that next Christmas will be brighter, better and more joyous for many,” he stated.
He said Christmas was about spending time with family, friends and loved ones and it was about creating happy memories that would last a lifetime.
“This Christmas, I pray that we all take the time to cherish and celebrate what is important in our lives,” Darboe told Gambians.
In the same development, The Most Reverend Hannah Caroline Faal- Heim, said that around the world, COVID–19 had made this year’s Christmas a sad, lonely and friendless event for many.
“All over the world, the COVID–19 pandemic has created uncertainty, fear, discord and anxiety for many people. We are enduring lockdowns and its restrictions and also losses that some face through loss of jobs and income, housing and especially the loss of loved ones through death from COVID–19.
“Around the world, COVID–19 has made this year’s Christmas a sad, lonely and friendless event for many,” she said in her 2020 Christmas Message.
The presiding bishop of the Gambia Methodist church also said there was good news and hope from the sure knowledge that Jesus Christ, Emmanuel, God-with-us, had come and remained with us forever.
“We can gain the strength to remain patient, to show courage and to have hope that we will live in a better future.
“Let us continue to encourage each other by doing what Jesus calls us to do, to feed the hungry, to welcome the stranger, to clothe the naked, to heal the sick, to help those in prison, and to comfort the broken-hearted and the dying and those who have suffered losses or lost loved ones. We are called to love God and love our neighbour as ourselves.
“In this context, I want to express, on all our behalf, our deepest gratitude to those who work in the health service and in other charitable organizations, especially during this pandemic, as they are wonderful examples of what Jesus is enabling all of us to do,” she said.
-0- PANA MSS/RA 24Dec2020