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Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Letters to the Editor

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Re: Golden Lead poses no threat to Gunjur environment

Dear editor,

The awful Barrow administration’s arguments pronounced by Demba Jawo do not tally with the need of the Gunjur people, in a wider spectrum the Gambian people. The employment argument should not be prioritized to jeopardize the health of thousands of Gambians. What is our priority? The employment of a handful of Gambians or the long term health conditions of our people?
The Gunjur activists should not rely on this inept, inefficient, corrupt Barrow administration for a solution.

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Those who should come into the game have already swallowed their kickbacks and would never utter a word to salvage our people from these environmental, economic and social hazards. Closing that dangerous plant will not send our people hungry. Never! Instead it would maintain and improve their already fragile health and allow them to use the Atlantic Ocean for their own economic gains. It’s only then that the administration can open channels that would allow our youth to use the fishing industry from a genuine Gambian development perspective. That would be a real sustainable development plan.

Let’s always remember the lives of the future generations!
Barrow, Amadou Sanneh, Ousainou Darboe and all that clique of corrupt and selfish people have quickly looked into the welfare of their children and close family buddies by sending them abroad for further studies (their future, of course) thereby denying the children of the poor the same opportunities.

They are quick in shaping the lives of their own children!
Why wait for any solution to the Golden Lead problem when these inefficient, corrupt and very selfish administrators are busy seeing how quickly they can fill their pockets, build their mansions/bungalows, send their children to prestigious institutions abroad and entrench their power base by any fraudulent means, just in one year five months? Why wait for them for a “solution” while the lives of thousands of Gambians especially from Gunjur and the Kombo coastal areas are in danger?
I’ll call on the activists to resort to all judicial measures to make sure the Chinese company complies or shuts down!

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Babu Soli

Much ado about a didactic lecture by Imam Fatty

Dear editor,

“Few love to hear the sins they love to act” says Pericle in one of the plays of Shakespeare.
If we cannot teach or talk about taboo subjects, such as sex education to our children, what should we teach or talk to them about? If Imam Fatty cannot teach wives how to keep their husbands happy, understanding men’s urges in spousal relationship, then what can he teach them about? If a religious scholar cannot dilate on issues which are wrecking relationships, promoting infidelity and compelling some men to become polygamous, what can he or she dilate on regarding spousal relationship?
Imam Fatty wasn’t teaching the women how to be submissive or be sex objects; the religious lecture was within the context of spousal relationship, what make a husband “happy” with his wife.

Fact: some men abandon or neglect spousal relationships in which they feel sexually starved. Am sure when Imam Fatty is talking to men or husbands, he would also address them appropriately.
If every issue worth discussing, especially socio-religious-political issues, must be interpreted and understood only within the cultural prism, with complete deference to our “culture”, then how can we have a critique or critical criticism or public discourse on things that matter to our lives?
Culture, according to Houphet Boignay, is a moving river, not a stagnant pool of water.

Thus, culture, a cumulative of people’s ways of life, beliefs, activities, art, attitude, purifies and is purified in its interactions, and attrition, with time, societal advancement and other cultures. No people advance who are still steeped in antediluvian past or who insist on cultural absolutism only.

“This is foreign to our culture”; “this is unGambian”; etc…. What is Gambian culture? Is it monolithic? How will I recognise it when I see it being practiced? Often what am told is Gambian cultures are set of values and norms which are also universal. Often we bring up the “this is foreign to our culture” argument when we want to suppress or deny rights: we have used the “excuse” to suppress women, dissenting views, desire to hold leaders accountable and transparent, fight injustice in the society, etc….. May be Imam Fatty was also following the similar cultural dictate: you should never speak ill of your leader or undermine him or fail to follow his authority and directives.

Guess our relationship with Imam Fatty has been coloured by what he did and said during the Jammeh regime. It is the classic case of: What you are speaks so loudly in my head that I cannot hear what you say. Wish we can judge people through the same prism or barometer, their past with Yahya.

Njundu Drammeh

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