There is no doubt that there is a lot of frustration in the youth of this country. What with the long reign of terror unleashed on the people of the country by a brutal government that was supposed to protect and serve them! Then there is the issue of the lack of adequate employment opportunities and the seeming injustices perpetrated on our people.
There is a widely held perception that the justice system in the previous government was compromised and was corrupt. One potential problem and threat to peace and security is the issue of land ownership. It is believed that the former president interfered with the ownership of lands in many parts of the country. As such, judgements that have to do with land, and emanated from the justice system of the previous government were likely to be controversial.
Many there are who paid huge amounts of money for lands which they genuinely believed belonged to the people who sold it to them. So, they bought these lands, had their papers drawn and started construction on said lands. If therefore it is found out later that the land did not in fact belong to the sellers in the first place, one can imagine their anger and frustration. Add to that the fact that these people believe that the courts are compromised.
The fracas that occurred in Farato and Bafuloto were therefore a boil over of pent up anger which had been suppressed for a long time coming.
In our humble opinion, this matter should be thoroughly looked into by the Barrow Government and then amicable solutions sought. Whatever the case, dialogue should be a key element in trying to solve the problem. If need be, those people who had spent money to buy, construct, and move into those houses should be compensated. They should be given lands and an amount of money to construct houses similar to the ones that were demolished if their claims are established by a competent authority.
It is necessary for the government to revisit the court cases presided over by all those judges who are deemed to have been in Jammeh’s pockets. Justice should then be restored and those who were wrongly denied lands, and/or monies should be compensated. Let us use dialogue to solve our problems.
Having said all that, we should also say that it is wrong to take the law into one’s hands and wreak havoc. Whatever the case, we should never revert to violent protests. If we do, we will simply be destroying our country for no good reason. Everyone is allowed to demonstrate peacefully; but this must never be abused. Let us always remember that we are one country, one family, and one nation!
Let us love our country!