Monday, November 30, 2020

Message to Gambian Muslims and Christians

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Gambians are part of West Africa, Africa and the World. Gambians are living in countries where Muslims, Christians and other religions are practised by the majority of citizens.

Citizens constitute the majority in every republic. Those citizens may be divided into smaller gender, age, ethno linguistics and religious groups. When Gambians view each other as citizens, the nation becomes united. If all citizens put conscience and national interest before parochial interest, all will become lovable compatriots and the nation will become united and strong. When they put personal interest before national interest, hatred and confrontation would become the order of the day.

The nation is going through a very delicate transition and all Gambians should strive to avoid divisive tactics in all their undertakings. If Gambia is to be an example in the world and if Gambians are to be able to live in any country in the world, there must be new Gambians who are enlightened to know what to say and what to do to be able to add value to the lives of others. Only a Gambian with social conscience can avoid harming others. A Gambian without social conscience would insult people on the basis of their ethno linguistic origin, gender, birth and other characteristics. Such Gambian will always try to fish political power out of ethnolinguistic and religious troubled waters by promoting hostilities and intolerance along the ethnolinguistic and religious divide.

That time is now over. Knowledgeable Gambians who are sincere in their commitment to the nation must not and will not be quiet any longer. Gambian youths, Christians and Muslims, should come together, organise symposia and invite those who claim to be knowledgeable people on constitution drafting to come and debate on what should be in a constitution no matter how controversial they may appear. Those who cannot help them to separate the grain from the chaff and enable them to see eye to eye on any question must be seen to be on the track of driving the nation to its doom.

Constitution making is not a divisive enterprise. It does not require wrangling. What it requires is sober reflection on the content of the 1997 Constitution and mature assessment of the gaps to be filled to make it fit for purpose. This requires the best of minds. It is now time for the Gambian youth not to be gullible. The Gambian youth must invite all those who claim to have something of value to add in constitution building to engage in debate on crucial issues. For example the Islamic University students may host a debate on secular and non-secular constitutions and invite somebody like Halifa Sallah, Momodou Sabally and others to address them. Students of the UTG or the American University could do the same. This is the way forward for knowledge building without which there cannot be any genuine nation building. People want to know the truth. The truth must prevail to set all of us free.

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