By Ebrima Jarju
Basically, I will commence by giving a preamble about the purpose of writing this article. As a citizen of The Gambia, I believe that it is my utmost responsibility to express my viewpoints on the development of my nation. If it is necessary for me to invest the whole of my time for the betterment of my nation, I will not hesitate to do so. I am always willing to contribute my quota in this regard by working tirelessly. Moreover, I have a sentiment inside me that always leads me to ask a question: what kind of nation are we building?
However, after critically conducting my research, I have learned dozens of problems that emerge from the above question. Before going any further in discussing the question, I would like to discuss the contributing factors that have prompted me to pose the question. In my perspective, it is wiser to deeply look into the cause of action prior jumping into the question directly. For this reason, I would like to discuss my viewpoints based on factors as enumerated below:
The unethical behavior of people
Under this subheading, I will basically focus on unethical behavior and the impacts it has on the lives of the people and the society. Firstly, research has proven that unethical behavior undermines the whole economic system of a nation. Unethical behavior is defined as the absence of moral principles in one’s conduct. It is also termed as a practice pertaining to embezzlement of resources, selfish interest, dishonesty, etc. The repercussion of unethical behavior to me is beyond measures and it is a major factor leading to the emergence of almost all the problems that we are facing recently, including the potential ones.
Furthermore, people, most especially the practitioners in charge of controlling our resources, should ensure that they maintain the trust that we have in them. They should bear in mind that they are not appointed to solve their personal problems but to work hard to the best interest of the nation at large. The consequences of unethical behavior to a public property are not limited to economic problems. They go further to destroy the social lives of people. People do cause a problem that, in turn, affects them, but they are not intelligent enough to know that they are the cause of the problem.
Moreover, it causes people to lose their jobs, leading to many problems. People differ; some can resist any situation while others cannot. Perhaps, this might lead them to be engaged in undesirable actions, for instance, drinking alcohol, prostitution, stealing and the like. They cannot be judged as bad people, why? Firstly, they must survive; secondly, they must feed their families, and so on. These people could be very talented, and who knows that they can be great assets to the nation, or even come up with an innovative idea that can boost the country’s image? So, the big question is “Who is responsible for such conduct?”
In addition to that, thousands of talented youths- a percentage of approximately 70- are sitting out there with nothing to engage themselves in, which leads them to inappropriate practices. I guarantee you that if you ask them privately you will find out that they all have hidden objectives deep inside their hearts; that is to make their families feel proud. Further, there is empirical evidence showing that most of them are dedicated in finding a way to make their families proud by sacrificing their lives going through the “back way” which involves a lot of hardship and miserable exposure to the western world, just to make life better.
Do you think that if there was a proper system in the country they would risk their lives in such? It is very obvious that some individuals are sitting out there enjoying things that is not theirs. So, who is to be blamed for the massive lost of lives faced by our own brothers and sisters?
The number of students graduating from the University of The Gambia every year is too big while the job vacancies available to satisfy them are limited. Is there anyone putting into consideration what the lives of these youths who are the future leaders will turn into if they cannot secure jobs? Who will lead our nation tomorrow? I believe that there is a massive work ahead of us rather than focusing on embezzlement and other things that are of no use to our lives, thereby causing destruction. Remember, the puzzling circumstance is faced by “all and sundry”, perhaps, people you love or people who you bracket together might be affected.
Of course, we all have religions that we devote ourselves to. This means that we all have principles to follow as stated by our respective religions whose cause we are dedicate to. Pertaining to the teachings of our religions, the “GOOD” and “BAD” conducts are specifically and clearly stated. Here comes another question, are we practicing the teachings of religion? It will be very heart-touching to find out that the answer is “NO”. Then what are we teaching our children, brothers, sisters and the people at large? What kind of society are we trying to build? Who would be the one to inspire the youths or who is willing to sacrifice to be a role model for the youths?
History has taught us that everything that has changed is through the help of the young people. Dr. Martin Luther King was only 22 years old when he joined the civil rights movement while Nelson Mandela was only 31 years old when he joined the A.N.C (African National Congress movement).
They were very young at that time but with great ambition that is not only limited to their own personal interest, neither their country’s but for the human race at large, regardless of culture, race, religion or country. We can also mention a great hero named Lee Kuan Yew, who was only 36 years old and made a great achievement by transforming a nation called Singapore. So, I see no reason why the youths are and should be omitted since development can only be realized with and through them.
Ultimately, as a youth and a Gambian as well, I would love to share a piece of advice with each and every Gambian. If we are choosing, let us not choose blindly. Instead, we should choose critically between choices, and go in for the best that is of great help for the upcoming generation. Choosing the right person has nothing to do with tribe, neither the color of our skin, but for the sake change for the better, and change is only possible through solidarity. Continuous development should be planned today in order to meet achievements tomorrow. The development of our nation should be the number one priority of all Gambians.
Gone are the days when people were convinced by words only. In this 21st century, effective leaders convince their people with results.
NB: I apologize for any inconvenience, and to make myself clear, I believe that I have the right to express my sentiment with respect and dignity as a citizen. I pray that my piece of advice is well comprehended and practiced by all Gambians and not for any other purpose.
To be continued