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City of Banjul
Tuesday, November 24, 2020

The Tribal Banter

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It has become common to hear people talk about tribes and ethnicity in our political discuss. We hear vitriolic attacks directed at one ethnic group or another. This is a cause for concern as one of the fastest ways to self-destruct is to engage in petty squabbles of otherness.

It does not matter who engages in this unfortunate act. Whoever engages in the promotion of tribalism is indeed doing a disservice to the nation. All Gambians must come together to fight against this.

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Therefore, it’s high time we took the bull by the horn, as it were, to find a lasting solution to this bane. We do not need to wait until it reaches a stage whereat it will cost lives and/or property. This bad thing should be nipped in the bud.

The solution must be multifaceted and thoroughly comprehensive for it to be successful. The first approach has to be civic education using every means available from radio, television to newspapers. The National Council for Civic Education should embark on this soonest.

The second approach has to be through our education system. Let us do away with anything that will focus the minds of the young people on their tribe rather than the nation. From the very beginning, children should be made to see the folly in being tribal in thinking and shown the benefit of being patriots.
The third approach should be legislative. Let us formulate laws against hate speech. Whoever is found guilty of hate speech – speech that can incite violence be it religious, tribal or racial, should be severely punished to serve as a deterrent to others.

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