Gambia’s Best Way To Go

By Alh. Suntou Touray

Salaamu Alaikum to everyone!

As you all know, public servants work for the general welfare and wellbeing of the public. And as such, due to the nature of the public service we are constrained to be disciplined, neutral, dedicated, honest and impartial in the execution of our duties. This comes under what is referred to as ‘The General Orders’ of service, or GO. In our new democratic age, it is difficult for some in the public to understand the role of a civil servant.

Also, some of us working in diplomatic services are regulated by what is called FSR (Foreign Service Rules). These codes stipulate our strict adherence to professionalism, patriotism and national service above all else. As individual citizens, people are entitled to their opinions; however, individual opinions must be guided to avoid causing public offense.

This is why anyone who wishes to adhere to the Public Service Regulations and Foreign Service rules avoids openly getting involved in issues that are “fluid and contentious.” Where one seeks to speak or express an opinion, one must avoid publicly taking sides. It is not easy to walk these fine lines.

Democracy is not one hat that fits all. Each society adapts it to their needs and aspirations. Governance is a multi-layer state of affairs. It is “fluid and sensitive.” The public has a perception and that perception is engineered to some extent by politicians, clerics, business people, entertainers, security experts, and other civil society actors.

The politicians work day and night to have the public on their side. Winning the sympathy, support and endorsement become the daily battle. The Jury of the public opinion is their major preo-ccupation. Whilst pure governance is where the government of the day concerns itself with delivering services, to meet the needs of the people. Resolve disputes through different channels and communicate in creating better understanding and social cohesion.

The government must protect the lives, property, and dignity of everyone. It must foster harmony, peace and respectable mutual coexistence, where the agents of the government, be they civilians or security apparatus, work in tandem to breed understanding.

There is what is called a permanent government, this is the Public Service. Whilst politicians battle over winning hearts and minds, the public servant works to meet the service needs of the people.

We all have a role to play in this. This is why no section of society should be excluded or marginalized for any reason. We all love The Gambia and many want peace and common understanding. We pray that our politicians, religious leaders and ordinary citizens can all exchange views in a cordial manner to create a country whose people have become aware, intelligent and progressive. Where we err, let us gently remind one another. That is the wining formula for a country that is struggling to heal and right the wrongs of its past.
Wa Salaam.


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