24 May 2012

Gambia: 'Operation Bulldozer'


Recent headlines in the newspapers remind us that violent crime is alarmingly on the increase in the country. Murder, rape and robberies have crept into suburbia and even small villages in the country.In the past, incidents of crime in the country were mainly sporadic theft cases. But recently, there has been a gruesome shift to more dreadful and horrible crimes.

No one has to be reminded of the tragic criminal cases of recent . Interestingly, the vast majority of these crimes are perpetrated by foreigners who abuse ourhospitality.

The officers and personnel of our security services should of course be commended for their hard work and devotion to the protection of civilians. They are keeping us safe. However, the sharp upsurge in crime and criminality and the presence of a catalogue of violent criminal cases in the courts is a cause for concern.

The Operation 'Bulldozer' launched by the head of state in collaboration with the National Security Council with a view to put an end to crime and criminality in the country is a fundamental development.Its significance cannot be overemphasised; The Gambia is a country known for its peace and we must on no account allow undesirable elements to jeopardize the peace and stability we have been enjoying for long.

The message that the launching of 'Operation Bulldozer' sendsis clear -if you have been looking for a place in The Gambia to export your criminal enterprise, the knot is so tight now that this country is increasingly becoming impenetrable.

However, for 'Operation Bulldozer' to succeed, those who are tasked to direct the activities of the operation have to execute their functions as envisaged by the president; the general public is also a fundamental stakeholder.

It has been said, time and again, that enhancement of public safety is the responsibility of every member of society. It is not restricted to uniformed men, nor is it restricted to the armed security man at his night guard post. It is obvious that we will be bound to remain at the mercy of the eventual consequences of this shift if we do not put our houses in order. And this is all the more reason why the Gambia government is not relenting in its resolve to contain criminal activities in the country.

In fact, the authorities have not been found wanting anyhow, as they spare not even a moment in safeguarding the security of the citizenry. This is manifested in the current wave of arrests of alleged criminals by security forces, which brings to light the reinforced effort in the general crusade against crime in the country.

What is required from the general public is give as much information on crime and criminality as possible. We should stop harbouring criminality in our own backyards and expose criminals and their nefarious activities with alacrity. In addition, Gambians and non-Gambian alike must know that the constitution is the supreme document of our country. It has set down principles by which we should conduct ourselves. Therefore, any person or group of people who put themselves above these principles are performing acts of criminality and will be punished.

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