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City of Banjul
Friday, November 27, 2020

Letters to the Editor

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Minister of justice did not mislead the concept of protest: Let’s keep the conversation clean
Dear editor,
Bravo to the office of AG, IGP and GRTS for a wonderful civic engagement program called status of our law and security way forward.

The program is long overdue and it is mesmerizing to see an activist, IGP and AG on the same platform discussing the state of our democracy. The civic engagement since the rebirth of New Gambia, have deepen our love for our country and our people. It is a love full of pride for our virtue and with patience for our failings.
We are a fractious nation, always searching, always dissatisfied, yet always hopeful. We have an infinite capacity to rejuvenate ourselves. We are self-correcting. And we are capable of caring for each other. In this new dispensation of our discontent, I find it heartening to look back to 22 years of dictatorship.
Remember during the 22 years of Jammeh when people wondered how we could end the brutal assault on our rights? But we came roaring back, we prevail over the cynics. We came through because the resilience of some of our patriotic sons and daughters who stood up to Jammeh despite all the odds.

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As Gambians, we will continue to flourish because of our multilineage society which has strength and resilience as we continue to find our niche in our new democracy. Attorney General Ba Tambadou and Mr. Mamour Jobe Inspector General of Police appearance on GRTS underscore our government’s commitment to create an environment where divergent views are encouraged. Both leaders represented the government very well on the show and they have communicated clearly some of the misconception when it comes to protest and steps involved in changing some of the laws on the books.

Ba Tambadou as the Chief Prosecutor of the Executive Branch did a fabulous job in clearly explaining the process and processes involved in changing the law as well as security implications when it comes to protest. Mr. Tambadou was very prepared, knowledgeable, articulated his position well when it comes to the rule of law, freedom of assembly and movement.
Both Honorable Tambadou and Mr. Jobe’s engagement with activist Alieu Bah on GRTS was very commendable due to the fact that the exchanges were very cordial, civil and exhibited in a very professional manner. Ba Tambadou at no point during their appearance on GRTS demonize activist Alieu Bah as Madi Jobarteh wants to believe.

Madi’s continuous hyperbole, excessive obsession when it comes to protest and the constitution, as if he has complete monopoly over these issues should give us pause due to misconception conveyed to the general public. Madi applauded the patriotism of Alieu Bah which no one will dispute but how about Ba Tambadou who gave up other opportunities to serve his country?
How about Ba’s active engagement in the struggle to dislodge the dictator? If Madi does not know, please find out from others. Madi asserted that Ba Tambadou and his family are comfortable thanks to tax payers, well what Madi failed to understand and acknowledge was the opportunities our current AG gave up to serve in Barrow Administration for the love of country.

I will highly encourage the IGP and AG to continue their wonderful civic engagement especially in our local languages it is very educational. It looks like the information shared with the masses does not sit well with some of our activists.
The conclusion is maybe the AG hit a nerve which triggered a reactionary article wrapped around emotional outburst by Madi. Ba is very progressive, he worked tirelessly to create an environment where continue dialogue and civil society engagement is at the forefront.
He is the most media friendly Attorney General in the history of our Republic. Ba Tambadou represents the cliché of people who value honesty above all else, followed by being forward-looking, competent, and inspiring.

These traits fell under the larger umbrella of credibility, which is declared as the foundation of leadership.
Jefferson once wrote: “There is a debt of service due from every man to his country, proportioned to the bounties nature and fortune have measured to him”.
My last word to Madi, Ba Tamedou’s responsibility, our responsibility as lucky Gambians, is to try to give back to our country as much as it has given to us, as we continue our New Gambia journey together. General Powell once said “Avoid having your ego so close to your position that when your position falls, your ego goes with it”.

I am not a spokesman for the AG nor the government; however it is our fiduciary duty to keep each other on a true course. Thank you! May God continue to bless the Gambia and her people.
Sariang Marong
Vancouver, Washington

USA
Why we need to put our gloves on
Dear editor,
Europe has changed and is changing. Years ago, people pick and chose the types and kinds of work they do. Menial jobs are left for immigrants, but now, not anymore. Since the credit crunch in 2008, the labour market changed and European nationals started to look for work, any kind of work, so long as there is a salary at the end of the week or month.

We all need to encourage young Gambians in taking jobs that may not be their ideal preference, however the mentality and psychology of earning a living create self-confidence and self-assurances. The media needs to start portraying work as an ideal state of existence.
We need to be real when we say it is time for work. This is all we need as a country to develop. Let there be young Gambians trained in bread making in both local and modern ways. Our civil servants, carpenters, electricians and market vendors etc, must not treat work as pastime. We have to be progressive and pro-active in whatever we do if we want to be counted among citizens of a developed country.

We cannot depend on foreign businesses for our basic needs. Business men/women will mainly comply when there is competition and rivalry. All we see is political rivalry day in day out. We need rivalries in skills and entrepreneurship as well as organise innovative and productive dialogues.
Our delicious local chickens are in short supply even though chicken consumption continues to go over the roof. This is a serious problem that needs urgent solution. Are we thinking about how to fix the chicken shortage?
The rural-urban migration has dwindled our locally produced bread basket regions. Let teachers, nurses, agric extension workers and educated elites lead the way by getting involved in farming or livestock rearing. Teachers posted in the hinterlands of the country can farm or rear livestock after school. We have wasted significant amount of time procrastinating. It is time to act fast to re-ignite our fast dwindling rural life. Any country that has no lively rural life is doom to fail. It is the food basket of any country where harvest seasons add value to standard of living and quality of life.

After putting bread on the table and acquiring education, getting the right mental orientation must be our next goal. The consciousness of the people does not necessarily demand under-graduate or post-graduate degrees, although these are desired and important in our development process. To cut the long story short, we need a society that is understanding, analytical and prepared to get involved in making adjustments whenever necessary. This is far better than depending on others to solve what can be done by us. Our pride and dignity are buried in our own efforts and not what we get from elsewhere. Let us now walk the talk. Gambiankolu Doku tumo sita (Gambians it is time for work). Put on your gloves and stop endless talks.

Alh. Suntou Touray
Gambian Counselor, UK Mission

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