By Kebba Secka
Brikama Youth groups on Saturday held a march past along the streets of the town advocating for one Gambia. The purpose of the march past according to the organisers, was to raise awareness on the dangers of tribal sentiments and its horrific consequences.
The Guest Speaker of the occasion Dr. Ismaila Ceesay, a Senior Lecturer of the University of the Gambia urged Gambians particularly, youths to discourage all forms of tribalism in our society. He said: “I am a born citizen of Brikama and as I can recall, tribalism was never a course of concern here. It is politics that wants to divide us, not even politics, but I may say, the type of politicians who are promoting tribal sentiments.” He continued to emphasize on the devastating consequences that can be born out of tribalism citing the case of Rwanda. He reminded Gambians that it was based on tribal sentiments that more than one million people died in Rwandan in just a month. “Tribalism and tribal sentiments had not been our problems, let us not allow it to jeopardize the peace and tranquillity we are enjoying,” he appealed. Dr. Ceesay enjoined his fellow youths to take ownership of the country and never allow anybody to mislead them in any form of tribalism. “Practice what you preach, today anybody who leaves here must never use the internet to promote or create tribal sentiments. Let the Imams and Pastors preach against tribalism,” he appealed. He thanked the organisers of the event particularly John Ndure whom they said, pioneered the campaign against tribalism.
Honourable Edward Pereira, a nominated councillor at the Brikama Area Counsel spoke at length on the significance of the symposium, saying it’s the most ideal approach towards promoting nationhood. “We shouldn’t welcome anything that will divide us. Tribalism as you all know, its by-products are hatred and division, so we must not tolerate it. We must kill its spirit right now,” he said. He called on youths to desist from using social media platforms or any other avenue to create or promote tribal sentiments. He iterated that in recent times, there is increased use of tribal sentiments in the social media and that, he said, must be defeated. He appealed to all and sundry to wage a combat against the menace of tribalism in our society.
Wuyeh Ceesay commonly called Wilson, said the purpose of the symposium was to raise awareness on the divisive and devastating consequences that tribalism can have in a society saying, its powers must be immediately undermined. “We are gathered here and nobody can identify who is who or who belongs to which tribe except that we are Gambians,” he told the gathering. He joined Dr Ceesay calling on the youths to take ownership of the country, adding that the elders have done their own quota. “We must know that no single tribe can develop the country alone, not the Jola, Mandingo, Wollof or any other tribe. Therefore, let’s come together and be proud of being Gambians not tribes,” he told the gathering.
Aji Bah and Abdoulie Khadir Drammeh all echoed similar statements condemning tribalism as a whole. For Abdou Khadir, he was speaking on behalf of Gambia Association of Dumb and Hard of Hearing, (GADHOH). His presentation was interpreted by Mansata Dampha, an employee of GADHOH, Brikama branch. “Tribalism is not good. We are all human beings and we belong to one country which is the Gambia,” he said.