Sidia Jatta Warns Lawmakers to Desist from Deploying Sentiments in the War against COVID-19

Sidia Jatta

By: Kebba AF Touray

Sidia Jatta, National Assembly Member for Wuli West, has warned his fellow lawmakers to desist from deploying sentiments in the war against coronavirus.

He said the world is at war with an invisible enemy (COVID-19). He said this on Friday at the Legislative House in Banjul while debating on the report of the Special Committee on the Implementation of the State of Public Emergency.

He said: “That is what must be understood. We are on a battle field against an invisible enemy. It is attacking us and we are incapable of attacking it because we don’t have weapon to attack it. But the beauty of our being as human being is the ability to overcome any difficulty that comes our way”.

He said “that is our nature, intelligence, but you cannot win war with sentiments. Wars are not fought with sentiments. Wars are fought with ideas, skills, and objectivity and with required weapons to fight”.

He said that the beauty in human being is that even though the enemy is invisible, but intelligence has shown mankind the ways of preventing oneself from the pandemic even though it is not visible.

He said this is what we must be thinking about and is where intelligence lay and that the Coronavirus is not seen, but one can prevent oneself from it and that is intelligence and that is the issue.

He added that in the fight against covid-19, sentiments have no place, rather it is tactic that is employed to fight the invisible enemy and there is the need to strengthen and reinforce it to fight against the pandemic.

He said: “That is the tactic and strategy that we have been developing to overcome an enemy that you cannot see. Sentiments do not have place here. I have said it over and over and I will repeat it, this National Assembly is the heart and soul of the nation. The nation depends fundamentally on this Assembly, and we cannot afford to use sentiments to fight war.”

Jatta said: “We must use the required weapons if we want to win this war. We know there are seated cultural practices and we all know what they are in our society, but we cannot use those to fight this war. This war is much more powerful than those”.

He continued “we must help our people to grow and empower themselves against this enemy. We cannot do anything to weaken them against the enemy and if we do that we are failing in our responsibilities in this National Assembly”.

Jatta said: “Our job is to empower our people, in such a way that even though they cannot see this enemy they can fight it and win it. We cannot use sentiment to help our people become big and powerful against such an enemy”.

He urged the citizenry and lawmakers not to mitigate themselves and said that all the forces are needed today to become stronger against the invisible enemy which is devastating the world and that is the issue at hand.

Jatta said this is his first time of seeing a virus like COVID-19, noting that it is the global pandemic and that is the reason the world is united against the virus and urged the lawmakers not to weaken themselves with sentiments, adding that they are not helpful in any situation especially in the fight against COVID-19.

He said that commitment, concerted efforts and the means are required and necessary in this circumstance to fight against COVID-19, but cautioned that people should not be weaken in fighting the devastating enemy whose durability is not known, with the emergence of new cases in China.

He said: “We must be really prepared to fight this war and we are very ill-armed. We must not allow ill-armless to continue by discouraging people, by putting sentiments into people to accept what is going to kill them”.

Jatta averred “That is not our role and if we do that, we are failing our people. We must help them to understand what they do not understand and that is part of our responsibility to help ourselves to become aware and fully understand the nature of this enemy, so that we can help others to arm themselves better”.

He expressed his support with the extension of the period, adding that the pandemic is emerging in the country and warned that the number of cases must not be underrated as it grows, saying that the pandemic starts with smaller numbers everywhere and becomes a larger number.

He said “So why do we want to become complacent to an enemy that is waging onslaught on the world. We cannot afford that and that is why ‘Prevent yourself is better than cure’.”

He said: “It is not impossible for us to overcome this enemy, but we cannot overcome it disunited, sentiments cannot help us in this circumstance, we need much more than that.”