To say that there is an urgent need for a national dialogue in The Gambia is an understatement. Discussions and debates in this country turn acrimonious so quickly and with such intensity that it is indeed worrisome. This should concern every lover of this great nation.
Recently, the debate on whether to include the word secularism in the Constitution or not turned into an interreligious squabble which brought out a lot of acrimony and unpleasant war of words. This went on for some time before it began to cool down.
Currently, the hot topic is the issue of whether or not the gay and lesbian community have rights or not. Many a time, debates like these are derailed and the main issues lose traction and personal attacks begin to be hurled around.
Many folks direct a lot of insults at those they deem to be on the other extreme. It is like there cannot be common ground.
In the local Wolof language there is a saying that ‘Reeroo amut nyaakawaxtaan moo am’. That is to say, ‘There is no discord; it is only a lack of dialogue.’ This is true of the situation in the country right now.
People talk at, and not to each other nowadays. If only folks could listen to each other more, perhaps there could be a common ground where each will see themselves and not tear each other apart as itseems to be happening right now.
As some of the bones of contention are very sensitive, it is high time dialogue was initiated to avoid a deterioration into chaos which will not be good for anyone in the country.