By Kebba Secka
‘Development Oriented Citizen’ (DOC) of Banjul in collaboration with Youth for Development, on Saturday October 6th, began the campaign to end tribalism in our societies. The theme for the campaign is: “NO TO TRIBALISM.”
Speaking at the gathering, Abdoulie Njie, Interim Committee leader of DOC, explained that tribalism is tantamount to devastation of a whole society; that key positions must be taken by active members of society, to prevent such a destruction. “As Gambians, it is important we protect our nation from any form of tribalism for our own safety and the safety of future generations,” he said. He cited cases of such devastating consequences in Ghana, Rwanda and Nigeria; that the death tolls in these countries as a result of tribal conflict, cannot be estimated. “Let us be proud of Gambia and nothing else,” he urged.
Alice Secka, a member of DOC, dilated on the significance of the gathering saying, tribalism has no space in our new Gambia. “We cannot reject our common values that bind us together. We cannot allow our smiling coast to be devastated by selfish individuals. Always, let us be proud of Gambian and not tribe,” she asserted. According to Secka, the campaign to end tribalism has begun since October 6th 2018 and shall continue until the menace is defeated. “We will not relent in our efforts to end tribalism of all sort, in our noble country,” she said. She urged Gambians to strengthen the campaign to end tribalism in Schools, workplaces, markets etc., and defeat the menace of tribalism in our society. “No room for tribalism and disunity in our society. We are bonded by destiny and we shall protect it,” she appealed.
The guest speaker for the occasion Imam Abdoulie Faye, said the importance of the gathering cannot be over emphasized; that any effort towards bringing mankind together, is a step in the right direction. He dilated on the topic reaffirming that mankind is bounded by divinity and we should jealously safeguard it. “I want to remind everyone to adhere to the teachings of our religion. If we do that, there would not be any problem,” he told the gathering. He cited verses of the holy Quran where God’s messages are addressed to mankind, and not a special tribe.
Essaha Sowe, a Youth leader, enjoined his fellow youth to collaboratively fight against all forms of tribalism. “Gambia should be our pride. Therefore, let’s be proud of the Gambia,” he told the gathering. According to him, Gambians should protect the good values of the country at all times, and condemn anything that will nurture tribalism in the country.
Dabakh Malik, Councilor for Kampama Ward, underscored the importance of the campaign against tribalism in the country, noting that ‘‘unity is what will make us stand. To my fellow youth, l appeal to all and sundry to come together for the development of the country.’’
Alice Secka in her speech when giving the vote of thanks, appealed to the gathering to share the message to all members of society. She thanked DOC for the brave initiative and urged them not to relent in the fight until the objective is met; that Government is urged to prepare a policy document to be taken to the National Assembly, for the enactment of a strong Law that will prohibit and punish promoters of tribalism in the country.
The day long activity started with a procession along the streets of Banjul with different cultural troupes, to raise awareness of the negative effects of tribalism in our societies. Aji Yam Secka and Aunty Amie Sillah, were the representative of the Inter-parties Committee in the gathering. The activities according to the Chairperson of DOC, the organization is meant to reach out to the masses in order for them to be cautious about the dangers of tribalism.