Numerous sit down strikes have been taking place since the new regime came into existences. During the weekend, this reporter engage individuals to sample their views on this rampant sit-down strikes that many take as a platform to express their disaffection, on some of the things that affects them.
Mustapha Jatta a Teacher from Region Six, said, to hold sit-down strikes is not the solution to any problem; but that if the Authorities refused to listen to the demands of the citizenry, then it is good for one to manifest this in peaceful demonstrations like sit down strikes.
“Looking at the teaching fraternity, we are the most vulnerable among Civil servants. There are no incentives in teaching here in the Gambia and all that one gets as benefit, is chalk dust and insults,” he said. Jatta said Government should make a review of policies in departments, particularly salaries; that otherwise they will continue to encounter such sit-ins.
Abdoulie Camara a carpenter by profession, said Gambians have never enjoyed democracy and the freedom to self-expression; that this is why they are behaving in such a way; that the current Government still uses the pay-scale of the former regime and there has been no salary increment, since this new regime came to office. “People need to be patient. We cannot expect Government to come and review everything within a year or so. We should understand that if a department holds a sit-down strike, everybody is affected and mostly those who did not deserve it, are the ones affected,” he said. Camara added that Government should come up with regulations concerning sit-down strikes; that otherwise they will not be able to put an end to such in future.
Lamin Jarju a taxi driver for his part said sit-down strike peacefully conducted, is a civilize way of bringing the attention of the authorities in Government, to understand and know the challenges of the citizenry. Jarju said people were not doing this before, because they are not aware of their rights, and ‘‘we were ruled by an iron fist by a dictator.