The Gambian leader, His Excellency Sheikh Professor Alhaji Dr Yahya Jammeh, has reiterated the respect he has for Nigeria, for their love of the African culture.

President Jammeh made this remark yesterday afternoon when the visiting Nollywood stars bade farewell to him at State House in Banjul. The Nollywood stars were among thousands of Gambians and non-Gambians who joined the gambian leader in celebrating his 44th birthday, which coincided with the Africa Liberation Day, and the inauguration of some major projects in The Gambia.

“Nigerians love the African culture and that is why I like your movies especially the ones that you act in the villages with the ‘Igwes’,” President Jammeh told his visitors. “As long as you are an African, I am proud of you. Let us patronise our African movies and have our own awards and standards. If we understand one another’s culture, then there will be less conflict and that is why I initiated the Kanilai International Cultural Festival”, Professor Jammeh stated. “Africans should believe in their rich culture and we have to get family values. If we don’t follow our culture we will be lost”, the Gambian leader observed. He informed the Nollywood stars that they have a crucial role to play as movie industries are excelling in the world market.“Africans have to work together to regain our lost glory. But if we continue to look up to the West, we will not get what we want.

Africa is the richest continent in terms of minerals and natural resources. Unless we the Africans stop fighting one another and work together, we will be lost,” President Jammeh observed.“Unfortunately, 400 years of British rule has left us with almost nothing. They made us to believe that anything made in Africa is not good. Now that we are independent, we should not look up to them to develop our country, because they were here for 400 years and they built only two hospitals and two high schools. Then how many years would it have taken them to build us a university? The Gambian leader remarked.

He implored on African leaders to believe in God and to work hard for the people that voted them into office. Professor Jammeh commended the government and people of Nigeria for opening their doors to all African countries. He observed that a lot of medical doctors, judicial and technical personnel, among others in The Gambia, are from Nigeria. Thanking the Nollywood stars for gracing his birthday celebration, President Jammeh advised them to work hard and to promote the African culture.

Speaking earlier, Francis Duru, one of the Nollywood stars from Nigeria, thanked the Gambian leader for the warm reception that the Gambian people accorded them. He assured the president that they will redouble their efforts and continue to promote the African culture. The renowned Nigerian movie star commended President Jammeh for his hospitality, describing him as a kind and generous leader. Nkem Owoh, known as Usuofia, and Patience Ozukwor, alias Mama G, all commended President Jammeh for the warm reception