Letters to the Editor


On the doctors’ strike
Dear editor,

The status of this country will be and shall continue unfortunate if the mindset of its descendants remain unchanged. The current stand taken by the doctors on strike is a clear manifestation of unprofessionalism, unethicality and superciliousness in our health sector. I am not upkeeping or seconding the alleged statements of the Minister of Health but I see no basis in her statements that must constitute a strike.



Minister Saffie Lowe-Ceesay was allegedly quoted as saying “Unless corruption is wiped out of the country, the health system would not realise its objectives” which can be unanimously agreed by all cognizant and conscious Gambians. On the other hand, in the contemporary societal issues, the receiver of the message transcribes it into his or her own political advantage or personal interest. This is the reason that stakeholders should only name in positive issues. The reaction of the doctors should be to barely prove her wrong by acting professionally, wholly obeying the rules and refraining all sorts of misbehavior in the health sector rather than acting sporadically and allowing the poor Gambian patients to perish in the name of pomposity.


In my view, a doctor is a man of rare courage, great aliveness, extraordinary erudition and brilliance… whose whole thinking is based on his concern for man’s unfolding – physically, spiritually and intellectually. In contrast, with the recent scenario in the country, I have developed a paradoxical and a conflicting connotation of who a medical doctor is.


I suppose the Ministry of Health should introduce a course ‘Ethics’ to its employing doctors before dismissing them into the health sector to diminish risk and save the lives of the Gambians. Let the striking doctors picture in mind that any loss of life in the realm of the public health sector as a result of the sit-down strike, they (the doctors) are responsible and shall be called to accounts sooner or later, here or hereafter.


Yusuf Sisawo,
University of The Gambia

Why is tribalism bad for our society?
Dear editor,

It is when people of the same tribe organise themselves under the umbrella of one tribe. Whenever this kind of feeling starts to get into the hearts of the people it can cause a society to fail, because people of the same tribe will find it difficult to accept others from a different tribe. Tribalism is one of the things that can tear a society apart and make the people to hate one another. Whenever people of a particular tribe begin to feel superior to another tribe or begin to feel a particular tribe has some negative qualities that they can’t accept, there is a room for chaos in that society. Tribalism can even get into the government and destabilise it once it is in the hearts of the people and that will retard national development. Governments should always be careful of tribalism because once people feel the government is for a particular tribe then the government is no more the government of the majority and a government cannot be democratic if it is not the government of the people. Tribalism has caused many governments and societies to fail.

Some African politicians use the veil of tribalism to have the attention of a particular tribe by making a particular tribe realise their sense of loyal to their tribe and that will make them focus on selecting leaders of their own tribe and not having the attention to put the right people in the right position to foster development for all. In the long run this will be the cause of the society’s failure. If really we are calling for one Gambia and one people we as citizens should be careful that no politician puts this in our minds and hearts that we belong to an ethnic group or tribe as far as politics is concerned and if politicians want to play politics in a stable environment, let them try fighting the negative effects of tribalism in our society than watering it. Lets open our minds and hearts for the truth as Gambians and put our tribal differences aside and focus on choosing the right people for the right places if only we want a better Gambia for us and our children. That is the only way we can maintain peace and it is only true peace we can develop our mother land, Gambia.


Together we are stronger than our common enemy tribalism—divided we are weak against tribalism.

Omar Njagan
International Open University