Former secretary general and head of the Civil Service, Momodou Sabally, has prevailed on young people to maintain discipline and preserve the peace and stability of the country.
He was addressing a graduation event of the Imam Malick Upper Basic School in Kanifing last week, using the occasion to objurgate recent protests that turned violent.
He said he was appealing to youths to observe the ‘rule of law’ and to stay away from violence and unnecessary agitations, referring the audience to the Quranic injunctions of respect to legal authority.
“…You can challenge your authorities and hold them to account but that does not have to take the form of violence and disturbing the peace and orderliness of your society,” he advised.
Deliberating on the topic of his speech about the importance of education, the former SG-turned motivational speaker said: “In this information age, and knowledge economy, education is your key to prosperity and a meaningful, purpose-driven life.
“I was privileged to attend a confab of Sarahulleh scholars at this very venue less than one week ago. An international forum to discuss knowledge, especially scientific knowledge.
Indeed this is a commendable move! But your tradition is not new to knowledge and scholarship.
In as much as we the Badibunkas like to tease you, we can acknowledge that you are the ones that introduced us to Quranic scholarship before the emergence of the legendary Kang Khalifa Jabbie.
“Your heritage is indeed one of scholarship; so what I see evolving in your community’s drive towards formal education is just a renewed impetus to a well-established tradition! I implore you to take your education seriously and to know that your graduation today is but a step in a long journey towards self-actualisation.
“Take the next step, and then the next, and then the next. See your education as a journey and not a destination.”
He told the young graduates that education is an unfolding process, imploring them to follow suit in this process of lifelong learning.
“You will never regret it.
While in this process of seeking knowledge, especially what we call western education, do not ever lose sight of the importance of sacred knowledge.
The acquisition of secular knowledge and the learning of sacred scripture and traditions are not mutually exclusive.
“The attainment of western education is also not an excuse to give your back to your culture.
Our cultural practices are not perfect just like other cultures are not; but in its true unadulterated sense, our culture is good and enriching, let us preserve our culture while progressing in our evolution in modern civilization,” he waxed philosophical.
Cementing his point, Sabally said countries like Malaysia and Japan have made the leap to technological progress through education without throwing away their authentic cultural practices.