Last week, a man was arrested for raping an eight-year-old girl who is still on the run. This week again, someone was arrested for allegedly raping a six-year-old girl. What madness! What cowardice and brazenness! This is unacceptable. Don’t we pride ourselves on being a conservative society? With this trend that perception is bound to change, and soon.
Perhaps something else – maybe a little less strange – needs mention here. Of late, we have heard of a wave of all types of crimes. For instance, there have been armed robbery, assault, murdered corpses being discovered and so many other forms of crimes. Is this an indication of a lack of grip on the society on the part of the government? Or is the security issue something entirely different?
There have been suggestions that most of these crimes are being committed by people who were pardoned by President Adama Barrow some time ago. If this is true, then two questions need attention right away. One: weren’t there consultations before the decision to pardon these people was taken? Two: what is it that can be done now to ensure that the crime rate is reduced?
If it is established that the prisoners who were pardoned by the president are the ones committing these crimes; and that proper consultations were not made, then does this not point to a deeper and more serious problem of lack of communication and coordination within the corridors of power?
Be that as it may, what do we do with these people who have obviously betrayed the trust that caused the president to magnanimously pardon them? He must have thought that if they are forgiven, remorse and rue will prevent them from going back to the bad deeds, which landed them in trouble in this first place. They proved that thought wrong. For this reason, the government of the day has profound questions to ask and seek answers to.
To move forward and provide a stable and sustainable peace and sense of security in the country, government has to find ways and means to diagnose the causes of these security lapses, then provide lasting solutions. There used to be a very effective collaboration known as Community Policing. This seems to be either dead or dormant. If it is dead, then it should be revived; and if it is alive but dormant, the authorities should work towards bringing it back immediately. At least, it can help complement efforts of the Gambia Police Force patrol unit to ensure the safety of the citizenry.
We do not only need to have peace; we need to feel secure in our homes and streets as well.