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Eighteen February 1965 saw the Union Jack lowered and the Gambian flag raised. We became a nation that is called The Gambia. Britain did not believe that Gambia will survive as a nation. For 18 February 1965 is only significant as a day marking "the birth of an improbable nation".

But here we are today celebrating fifty years of nationhood. As we celebrate fifty years of nationhood we must congratulate and pay tribute to those who led us to independence, those men and women who with dedication and determination laid a solid foundation for nation building.

Therefore, National Disaster Management Agency congratulate the leadership both past and present and every Gambian on this great national birthday.

Long live the Gambia, long live our peaceful co-existence, long live the APRC government and long live the determination to survive against all odds. Thank you.