Kunkujang, misleading report
We have to be careful what we read on social media and in the press generally. I am just from Kunkujang Mariama where I visited the village and spoke to few families and had a meeting with the Brothers of St John Bosco, the priests in charge of the Parish of St Francis especially Fr Peace who is also a member of the Shrine Committee. The story carried by a reputable Gambian daily is misleading and very inaccurate. Only one family in Kunkujang Mariama was served a court order to move from what the court ruled as occupying a plot of land illegally. The shrine, the mission, the school, the clinic, the church, the hall, the mission house and all other compounds in and around Kunkujang Mariama are in place.
They received no eviction letters. They did not even know about this until when some journalists told them on Friday. The resident priests told me that they enjoy a very good relationship with the people of Tujereng and their imam is normally invited and attends the annual pilgrimage in Kunkujang. Some of the women I spoke to said that they look forward to the annual pilgrimage because that’s where they normally have good sales of their goods. Most of the children in Tujereng attend St Francis Lower Basic and Upper Basic schools which are managed by the Catholic Mission and the medical clinic which gives free consultation and medication is also well patronised by the villagers around Tujereng and Kunkujang most of whom are Muslims. May the Lord continue to bring peace and understanding in this country and our religions. Let us all fight not to be divided and respect each other in the religion that we profess in.
George F Gomez
Dying for lack of wisdom
My people die for lack of wisdom. The reason why the Qur’an keeps repeating history after history since the beginning of creation, is to make us understand the root causes of problems. Realising the root causes, immediately points to the most effective solutions.
How did the problems of The Gambia and similarly of many African Nations start? Why is it that after over 50 years of independence development has eluded us as in many African states?
The problems lie in history both ancient and modern. That is where the solution should start. The problems can be linked to the following factors:
1. Africa’s struggle for dominance with the East and the West. Surprisingly this has been going on for a very very long time, since the pharoanic Egyptian times.
2. The changing weather conditions that have assailed the continent in various profound ways. One main example is the drying of vegetation in present day Sahara desert region.
2. Large scale migrations into the dense forest parts of the continent in various waves, due largely to drastic weather changes.
3. Splintering of tribes and languages due to the effects of war, weather and migrations.
4. Estrangement of related peoples due to the length of time that same peoples have been separated over time, introducing changes in their common languages. This has led to enduring hostilities.
5. Lack of continuous empires and states to promote sustained investments into education and research and widespread continuously strong industries. This is due mainly to competition between different tribes who surprisingly are closely related.
6. The Atlantic large-scale commercial slave trade, which was immediately followed by colonial rule by distinct European nations. The language, policy and cultural differences of the colonisers added to an already acute diversity in Africa.
7. The introduction of Christianity by all the colonial powers as a vehicle of influence and control.
8. The Berlin Conference, which saw Africa strangely divided into nations which do not reflect the realities on the ground.
9. The modern global economic and trade policies which are severely unfavourable to African trade endeavours.
10. The lure of overnight success in European countries and the sheer attraction to enjoy the luxuries of the West by the African populace. This psychological pathology promoted deliberately by Western media has nearly destroyed the sense of patriotism and pride of Africans to Africa. Since only the good side of the West is mainly promoted while the media focuses obsessively on the negative narratives of Africa.
You will observe that I have also implicitly touched on the routes to the solutions of our problems from this condensed historical analysis.
On the flip side of each of the problems lies the solution. A problem clearly defined is about to be solved.