30 C
City of Banjul
Sunday, September 20, 2020

We want security, but we need freedom!

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In the previous regime, police checkpoints became the order of the day. One had to go through so many of them that one lost count. Sometimes, they were so close to each other that one wouldn’t be able to fathom the rationale behind them. Even though it was unacceptable at the time, it was understandable given the type of regime we had.

Having defenestrated that government though, one would have thought that that will be one of the things that we would do away with, or at least reduce it to the barest minimum. But citizens are still complaining of the proliferation of police checkpoints. Sometimes, these checkpoints are so close to each other, it doesn’t make much sense to citizens. This reeks of a police state which we certainly know we don’t have anymore.
In a democratic state, the presence of the military or other security services all over the place does not say well of the security situation. Thus, this increase in police checkpoints has some negative impact on the society. One: it reminds folks of what used to be, and what they fought to change, and/or, it seems to send a signal that there is a security threat that the government knows but the ordinary people don’t.

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Of course, security is paramount and that no development can take place in the absence of peace and stability; but, the best form of security does not only come from military or police presence; rather, it comes from economic justice and the equal availability of opportunities. Mr President, if there is a security threat that we do not know about, please tell us. Otherwise, let the police checkpoints be reduced. Citizens need to move about freely around the country in a state of peace and tranquillity.
If the military and the police take the appropriate measures to secure the lives and properties of citizens, we will not need to see them – or at least not often and in large numbers. This dampens the spirit of ordinary people when they go out to earn a living.

Let the police mount security posts/checkpoints at strategic locations where their presence will not interfere with the free movement of people. If the need arises, they can show up, solve the problem and return to their posts. That is what a democratic state looks like.
We want security, but we need freedom!

Have a good day Mr President.

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