Weep not my Beloveth Africa and indeed my Beloveth Gambians and The Gambia. My modest plea to the Gambians, current Gambian regime and all stakeholders is to engage in a public safety campaign to advise, educate, train and sensitize the African and Gambian public about the dangers of the proliferation of arms and possession of arms by civilians. I am addressing the issue of public safety and security and how it is impacted by Africans’ collective fatalistic tendencies. We are supposed to be responsible adults as African nation states and citizens who gained their independence for most of the majority of African Nation states with the exception of South Sudan, for more than 25 to over 60 years ago.
Being a Gambian, my unit of focus is The Gambia and Gambians. The New Gambia government is confronted with a lot. I am therefore, aware of and appreciate the fact that priorities must be set in what policies and legislative agenda the current regime may deem as its priority.
However, fatalistic tendencies in African Nation States and The Gambia in particular should be considered as detrimental to our general collective welfare and development. The Gambian government needs to be proactive in formulating public policies that addresses public safety, security, the peace and tranquility of the Gambians of all social strata and background. The government should endeavor to utilize the media, community associations, organizations, and clubs to REACH OUT TO ALL.
During this month of Ramadan and during Lent, I pray and hope The Gambia and Gambians would look within and resolve to forgive and seek forgiveness. I pray that a significant number of Gambians would change from their fatalistic tendencies that bedevilled us in the past and continues to bedevil us now. We are fond of resolving acts of corruption, irresponsibility, public and political abuse, harrassment, athoritarianism, criminality and negligence with a declaration of “Allah la ke”, “Eh emitai ka ne”, “Ndogali Yalla la”. Not everything can or should be considered or classified as such. Significantly, the public needs to be sensitive to the collective negligence, dereliction of duty, responsibility and citizenship in our society. Collective security and peaceful co-exisence demands that we work deligently and tirelessly to mitigate our fatalistic tendencies of accepting things as they are, not what they can be if we only respectfully spoke up or advocated for the victims or did the “Right Thing”. It is fatalistic to add to the overloading of a taxi or any vehicle whether private or public. It is fatalistic to move to a foreign country without the prescribed legal documents, or by the “Backway”. Adding injury to insult, it is more than fatalistic to embark on such an adventure while pregnant or with innocent babies or children. It should be criminalised given the implications of and the involuntary nature of their status as minors in need of supervision by a guardian or parent. It is fatalistic and may be even against the teachings of all religions to have as many children you can’t afford to feed, house and cloth. It is fatalistic and sometimes not Healthy to marry more than one wife. Many men have truncated lives due to the stress of such a responsibility. It is fatalistic to run a traffic light, as much as it is fatalistic to drive a vehicle that is “Not road worthy” certified. This is an accident waiting to happen. It is fatalistic to accept or fraternise an illegal enterprise such as a dispensary that is an “Open Secret” of being a “Stolen Medicine” Den Without a Qualified Trained Personnel. The medicine may be expired or worse counterfeit that may end up killing you instead of curing you. It is fatalistic for all concerned to tolerate shoddy workmanship just because it is cheaper than professional ones. To all parents, husbands and wives, please know that it is fatalistic to subject your daughters to FGM. There is evidence that it is a significant contributor to the high maternity deaths around the world, especially in Africa where it is practiced. It is fatalistic to consume unsanitary food from unsanitary food vendors or open markets. Citizenship, public safety, and security are the Tri-pod on which a healthy, peaceful and prosperous nation State is Tethered on. Let’s endeavor to articulate, imbibe and live by our Collective Security and Peaceful Co-exisence and not fatalism of the present.
Sidi N. Bojang