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City of Banjul
Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Who polices the police?

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I am shocked by the killing of blacks by police in America. It is absurd to believe that most individuals who seek to be policemen do so with the motivation to brutalise and abuse citizens. Some who become police officers may be attracted by the power and status of the job. I have to believe that, given the dangerous and stressful nature of police work, the vast majority of those who join police forces do so to help people and protect society.

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Unfortunately, police power like any other kind of power exercised by humans is inherently corrupting. A police officer who feels unaccountable to anyone, invincible and cynical sooner or later becomes misguided and begins to misuse his power to arrest with a sense of unchallenged authority. S/he begins to expect that s/he commands obedience and respect from the public by the virtue of the fact s/he wears a uniform and a shiny chrome badge.

Who polices the police? I would like to think each police officer would police him/herself by conforming his conduct with the requirements of the constitution of the nation S/he lives in. I would like to believe each police officer would have the integrity and ethical standard to perform their duties with a clear conscience and professional integrity. But I may be naive in my expectations. That is why I have proposed my three policy prescriptions above. 

I hear a lot of talk about a “conversation about race” in America. That is great. What happened to Eric Garner, Michael brown and the rest is not a political issue. It is a human dignity issue. It is an American issue of justice under the law. 

I hope the “conversation on race” will not end up demonising one side or the other but humanising all sides. I hope we will not criminalise one side and canonise the other in the national conversation. I hope we will not para-militarise one side and racialise the other.

 I am a firm believer in Dr Martin Luther King’s teachings. He said: “In the final analysis, love is not this sentimental something that we talk about. It’s not merely an emotional something. Love is creative, understanding goodwill for all men. It is the refusal to defeat any individual. When you rise to the level of love, of its great beauty and power, you seek only to defeat evil systems. Individuals who happen to be caught up in that system, you love, but you seek to defeat the system.” All American people must rise up and defeat a system that dehumanises and deprives any American of their right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Mariama Danso




Re: Seedy Njie tackles OJ on gay comment


Dear editor,

Sheriff Bojang what is going on with you and your team at The Standard? Seriously, is this an interview or a statement/ press release by this sycophant called Seedy Njie? Journalism has standards like most noble professions and let us not set the bar so low my friends!  What Seedy Njie said is full of misinformation and lies… The same Standard carried what OJ said about the legislation that criminalised LGBT and now few days later why give this APRC propagandist a free platform to further their misinformation and lies scheme?  Sheriff and co cut this madness please. I haven’t read Daily Observer for more than five years now and I only read The Point once in a while but if The Standard continues with this madness, I will just stick to Foroyaa and the online newspapers. Ah Bojang Ba! This is becoming a joke now.

Baba Ceesay


Re: Seedy Njie tackles OJ on gay comment


Dear editor,

“If hundred years ago, everybody was allowed to practise this [homosexuality] and we adopt it as a way of life, we would not have been here and the world would have ended”. Did Seedy Njie listen to himself? Are you folks worried that if the law gets repealed you would divorce your wife and be gay? If you allow folks to be gay, would you abandon your ‘beliefs’ and sexuality or are you afraid that the wind will **** through you to be gay? Please try to tackle real issues that affects Gambians.

Pata PJ


Re: US clarifies position on gay issue in Gambia


Dear editor,

Thank you Mr Ambassador for setting the records straight! Mr Sainey Darboe and Sheriff Bojang this is The Standard newspaper not the Daily Observer my friends. As the Ambassador rightly stated your reporters need to be very careful in your reporting of these issues and the positions of the International community…and not be drawn into the propaganda PR scheme of the APRC government. I keep wondering why Sheriff Bojang doesn’t have an editorial page in the pages of the standard newspaper?  The editorial page could have been used to set the records straight on this issue for instance. I know it’s not easy to operate a paper in The Gambia but the bare minimum standards need to be maintained. Most of us came to know and admire Sheriff Bojang during his days at the Daily Observer (not Observer as we know it today). Mr Bojang we need a voice for the voiceless other than Foroyaa of PDIOS. The Point has been intimidated and reduced to almost a pro-government newspaper. They always shy away from reporting on burning issues of the day affecting Gambians and deserve coverage and public debate. Their editorial page is just becoming a big time joke. Sheriff Bojang don’t let us down by dropping the ball. We need you now more than any time in our collective drive to have a democratic Gambia where citizens will be free to openly hold divergent views and be able to hold the government and public officials accountable. I am not advocating for your paper to be like Foroyaa of PDOIS because you are not a politician and Foroyaa is an organ of a political party. There is a vacuum to be filled left by The Independent, The Point before Dedeh Hydara’s assassination and Daily Observer as we used to it during the times of Mr Best and days of DA Jawo, Ebrima Ceesay, Baba Galleh Jallow and your very self et al. Voiceless Gambians are crying for you to give them a voice on the ground. I know it’s not going to be easy but the calling of our time demands it. The chip falls on your shoulder and history will record the verdict.

Abou Njie


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