Where the exercise of the authority of customs ends and the exercise of the rule of law begins should be known to each Gambian citizen regardless of whether they are living in the urban or rural area.

The greatest tragedy is to become a sovereign republic without our people being aware of what sovereignty of the person means. A constitution existed in 1965 and in 1970 and is still existing in 1997; and all of them abolished slavery and forced labour as well as inhuman and degrading punishment or treatment and empowers the courts to preside over cases of abuse and deliver judgment; whilst customs exist condoning them.

In the same vein, religious traditions do show how religious leaders tried not to offend slave owners but promoted a gradualist process of putting an end to slavery by making religious injunctions that would remedy breaches of faith by freeing slaves.

A just state should have been able to teach all those living in The Gambia to know the law and subscribe to religious teachings that would transform all into brothers and sisters, into citizenship and humanity. However, nothing is too late to remedy. Efforts should be made to begin intra-ethnolinguistic dialogue so as to eliminate all those practices that would bring about conflict and civil strife in those communities.

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