By Mustapha Jallow & Makutu Manneh
Politicians in the Gambia have added their voice to the public outcry against the recent spate of mysterious killings of people that have sparked fury across the country.
Their reaction came barely four days after a corpse was found at the Brufut forest, some 28 kilometers away from the country’s capital, Banjul.
Omar Ceesay, National Assembly Member for Niamina East and spokesman of Gambia Democratic Congress (GDC) party on Wednesday told Foroyaa that the killings are increasing at an alarming rate.
Ceesay made these statements on 28th April 2021, following the Sunday incident where a human body was found in two sacks and dumped at Brufut Darusalam forest.
“We sent our condolence to the family of these unidentified deceased,’’ he said.
The Niamina East lawmaker further said: “The rate of mysterious deaths is very high in The Gambia and people are no longer secured.”
He added: “It is also alarming that dead bodies could be found placed anywhere in the streets on a monthly or weekly basis.’’
Ceesay called on the state to provide enough resources, equipment, tools etc. to equip the security forces so that they can execute their duties effectively.
“People need to be secured. Our nation is at high risk,’’ he said.
Lawmaker alleged three people were killed in Niamina Kudang. There were killings in Brikama, Busumbala and now Brufut, he said.
Hagi Suwaneh, Deputy 2nd Vice President of the National Youth Wing of the United Democratic Party (UDP), has commented on the recent incident in Brufut. He called for thorough investigation into the matter.
He also called on the State to equip the Police to help them detect and prevent crimes in the country.
However, Halifa Sallah, National Assembly Member for Serrekunda, said the murder cases emerging in the country must be looked at in its proper perspective, saying there is always context to be considered to analyze.
He said some of these murder cases showed that there is a gap in the society which is to be filled.
“It means that there is a breakdown in socialization. If a young person can get to the level of killing a parent or brother or friend, then we must accept that our institutional socialization has a certain weakness that we need to overcome,” he said.
Mr. Sallah said each human being must have a sense of belonging to a community. He said this sense of belonging will enable the person to have a sense of love for their people.
The NAM said to address the killings due to burglary; they must look at who the burglar is, and not only his nationality or origin. He added this will help society understand why the person steals.
He added that if the problem of employment or self-employment can be addressed, and provide the person the capacity to earn an income in order to be able to live a decent life, then crime in that aspect will reduce.
Sallah said in his view, the society has not reached a level yet where they could say they cannot do anything about the level of killings taking place.
“And I hope it will not reach that level. The state and communities must still function to accept responsibilities,” he said.
The prominent politician said communities need to be sensitized to know the value of human life. He said they must value their communities and others and seek to support each other.
“We must live and leave others to live,” he said.
The lawmaker advised the citizens to see life as precious no matter the frustration, adding that people should know that they are to build the future and have to see the challenges in their lives as something that can be solved.