An overly sensitive or should we say extremely sensitive society is susceptible to the trivialities of blowing almost every comment out of context.
There is no gainsaying that The Gambia, like many other countries, is fast-moving towards the “left radical” on the political spectrum.
Many Gambians are unconsciously embracing radical left wing politics ostensibly for political correctness.
Sadly, our journalists, whose role include the expansion of the space and guarantee for free speech, are also swimming with the tide.
The unsavory situation risks degenerating to the point where freedom of expression will be a casualty.
Freedom of expression is undoubtedly under a serious threat of being buried alive.
The Commissioner of Mobile Traffic Unit, Lamin King Colley, was lately at the centre of social media storm for uttering comments deemed by many as uncalled for, unbecoming and provocative.
But before delving into, it would be ideal to look at the genesis to the issue that left many tongues wagging and fingers busy on keyboards.
This would be prudent before any condemnation against King.
The ban on foreigners from driving commercial vehicles was an executive order by former president Jammeh said to be premised on the high level involvement of foreign drivers in violent crimes, including attacks on women and other vulnerable people as well as drugs peddling.
Is this sufficient ground for the Gambianisation of the commercial transport sector?
Well, that’s not my point of debate.
Since the ban on foreigners was an executive order, the role of the Traffic Police Chief and his men here is enforcement. That’s why we pay and resource them.
First off, let’s look at the commercial tricycle sector.
Tricycles are not permissible under the laws of the land to transport people for money.
164 of them were recently confiscated by the police for flouting the laws.
The question arises: Who were these tricycles seized from?
That’s what all of us will surely ask!
I’m compelled to be guarded here because since the society has decided to be ‘extremely sensitive’ to every detail, any mention of name or nationality is not a risk well-worth taking.
Any mention of nationality can earn you that unsavory tag of ‘xenophobic’ and tribe, tribalist.
My findings from the police, however, showed that the majority of the tricycles were confiscated from Sierra Leoneans and Fulas from Guinea.
Meanwhile in the regional capital of Basse for example, motorcycle has become a fashionable mode of transport for pecuniary gains.
This is a contravention of the laws and the most pathetic thing about it all is that most of those engaged in the practise do not give two hoots to helmet-wearing and most often, risky to other road users.
There is empirical evidence that Fulas from Guinea are the main actors.
The fact is that sectors like this are dominated by foreigners just like how Gambians are willing to do menial jobs elsewhere in the Diaspora.
People have this tendency to shy away from certain occupations in their country.
We cannot say the natives of Basse are into the commercial motorcycle business if our knowledge of the ground reality in The Gambia is anything to go by.
Certainly, if you tell a family member or close associates that citizens of Basse are into commercial motorcycle business and if the reply happens to be…Ah! Is that what the people of Basse are doing? The outright response would be: No! It’s the Fulas from Guinea.
That’s exactly what King Colley wanted to hammer home.
It’s what everyone of says in our houses. And, he was not entirely wrong!
Therefore, was anyone entitled to an apology from the traffic chief?
Nigerians and Sierra Leoneans cannot perfectly pretend or fake as a Gambian unlike Fulas from Guinea.
Culled from Facebook