Sunday, October 10, 2010

Reflections: Do we have to lay wreaths for yesterday’s crimes? - Editorial

Posted by Modou S. Joof on March 11, 2010 at 12:18pm
Banjul, The Gambia (TNBES) The Gambia recently observed its 45th Independence Anniversary; the theme ‘Honesty and Patriotism’ could not have come at a better time, but this is what we should have started with and continues to trade on.

Often people think that patriotism has to do with one being a supporter of the ruling party but there is more meaning to it. One needs to have and demonstrate love, respect and duty towards his or her country.

Reflection – was also key in the President’s message and in the minds of every Gambian, there must have been memories of the past (colonial rule) flashing through our minds.

But the question remains, is this the time to lay wreaths for yesterday’s crimes?

Do we have to continue pointing fingers to those colonial masters who did little or nothing for the betterment of the people of this country during their 400-year presence in The Gambia?

In as much as we reflect on the happenings of the past, we should work harder to achieve our own destiny. Let us always remember that no other person or nation will develop our country for us. We are sure that we are
not expecting the British to compensate us after 400 years of exploitation.
Even if that were to be, we need not to sit and wait.

The Gambia has gone through rapid development within the last decade and half, for sure that cannot go unnoticed. But we are just beginning because there is much more
development needed.

Development that would really impact on the lives of ordinary Gambians, for example the provision of safe drinking water especially to rural communities, majority of whom still drink from uncovered and
unhygienic wells. A low standard life they have been living before and after
colonial rule.

We also want to reiterate that the plight of farmers needs to be highly prioritized by the government. If in 2010 farmers are still facing hardships in selling their agricultural products, then it seems we’ve not
developed an inch.

Because agriculture, which is said to be the cornerstone of our economy, is rather being neglected to the detriment of the common Gambian people, what is keeping the government from establishing agro-based industries?
We could have been processing all kinds of juices, mango, orange, guava, wonjo,
baobab, pawpaw, tomato you name it.

Even our groundnuts could have been processed into different products.

This could have created a market for agricultural products within the country and the challenges faced by our farmers will be reduced.

It will also reduce the uncountable number of jobless citizens since it will create job opportunities for the unemployed.

Talking of ‘Honesty and Patriotism’ - We believe that it is the duty of every citizen to be honest and patriotic in observing his or her duties to the country.

However, public officials are rather expected to take the lead with regard to honesty and patriotism. There is the need for public servants to champion the cause of a corruption free government that will thrive
to address the shortcomings of the common man.

Least, we should not forget that poverty remains the greatest obstacle to our development.

“The object of governance in peace and in war is not the glory of rules or of races, but the happiness of the common man.” VOL:3

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