Our hearts are heavy! Our family, the defunct Daily Observer former staffers, are devastated! We are lost for words to express the deep pain and sorrow over the untimely passing of former colleagues Musa Ndow and Pa Modou Faal. They reportedly died in a car crash. If you were ever closed to the Daily Observer, you would have realized that the staff shared a special bond. The spirit of community and family among the Observer staffers was outstanding. I had worked with each of the departed.
Musa Ndow was a very hardworking individual who took responsibility at a very young age. Musa and I spoke very recently, and he was very excited to tell me about his university program.
Pa Modou’s tenacity and perseverance in the face of many challenges was admirable. His sense of humility and respect for everyone was outstanding, something that characterized his decades-long work as a journalist. Pa’s wife, Mariama, is like a family member. She was posted to our compound in Kiang during her formative career as an RDI field officer.
This really hit home.
The spate of fatal road accidents in The Gambia has become an alarming trend. Sadly, nothing seems to be done about this. Many of our people continue to perish in preventable road accidents. In most cases, there are no investigations. Nobody seems to care. We are only good at talking about these things, bury our precious souls, and everyone moves on as if nothing happens. The authorities commission no investigations into these accidents.
There are also no official reports about these things. Responsible governments, everywhere, commission investigations into fatal accidents, especially if they are becoming a trend. It is about time that The Gambia declared road accident a national emergency. Such a declaration should be ensured with a commission to investigate our roads and their safety. Sycophancy and idle talks will not save many of our people.
Our government and those in positions of leadership must begin to do serious work. We should stop endearing our government, we should hold them to account. We should stop creating excuses for our government for such create this kind of disaster. How many more Gambians would die before something is done about these things? Driving on Gambian roads is like a deathtrap.
There are fewer road signs and dangerous intersections that are left unaltered. I challenge the government to investigate our roads, especially the hotspots where accidents frequently occur. The government should investigate why these spots continue to cause many accidents, resulting in fatalities. Let us demand better of our authorities.
My heartfelt condolences to Sohna and Mariama. May Allah grant the departed souls Jannah.