(Thursday 11th October, 2018 Issue)
Development Orientated Citizens (DOC) Banjul, an organisation geared towards eradicating tribalism in The Gambia has called on citizens to assemble for peaceful co-existence.
In their quest and advocacy to end atrocities and ethnic tribalism in The Gambia, the organisation recently organized a day's event dubbed- "No to tribalism" at the Arch 22nd in Banjul.
Chairperson Omar TD Ndow said his tribe is The Gambia, emphasising that tribalism has no place in the country. "When Banjul was Banjul, there was nothing like division of people, no one knows where one belongs. We lived in peace and harmony and this legacy should continue. Who are we to destroy the peace that has been existing for long time?"
Ndow noted that enough examples of the menace has been seen in other countries, adding that there are countries that experienced genocide due to tribalism and Gambians don't want such.
He urged Gambians to give a second thought to their behaviours, speech and actions to prevent anything that would prove detrimental to the nation. "Those living in the country are the only one entitled to its development, they are the people to raise the flag proudly."
Imam Ebrima Faye of Banjul, who talked on religious aspect of tribalism and its negative influence on a nation, acknowledged that tribe is a divine word from Allah. He said; "Allah divided us into tribes to interact and love one another. Tribalism is the cancer of our society. Without addressing it, it may lead to immense hatred,".
Imam Faye quoted a hadith that states that, "The best among men is the one who fears Allah," urging everyone to join hands to end tribalism.
Banjul youth committee president, Essaha Sowe indicated that tribalism is a disease and The Gambia must not allow it to tear it apart. "As the name implies, we are all well acquainted with the Rwanda genocide, Nigeria and Sierra Leone. Anything that will trample on our freedom of expression should be undermined."
Interim committee leader, Abdoulie Njie explained that; "We are the ambassadors and advocates of peace, stability and ethnic tolerance."
DabakhMalick, councillor of Banjul Campama ward said tribalism can never fit in the Gambia, saying teachers are doing their best to end tribalism in schools.