The biggest resource that any country has is its people, and it will be through wise investment in its people that the country could make meaningful headway as far as development is concern.
The recent surge in the number of our young people in crime-related and violent acts, propelled by drug abuse is a cause of concern. This reminds us of the shocking murder incidents in Brikama last Saturday, which has been making waves on online media and newspapers these days.
Yusupha Darboe, a 30-year-old resident of Brikama Kabafita but originally from Kafuta in Kombo East, died after he was stabbed during an altercation at Jokor Night Club in Brikama. Preliminary findings revealed that an altercation ensued between the two which turned into a fight during which the suspect stabbed Yusupha with a knife. The suspect, a 16-year-old boy, is arrested and currently helping the police in their investigations.
Youth should always put at the back of their minds that they form the core treasure of the nation. An enterprising youth population accelerates a nation's development processes. On the contrary, a dependent youth population is a burden; it hinders progress and contributes to a failed state.
However, it is sad that drugs addiction or usage also accounts for some of these violent crimes in the country. It is rather unfortunate that some of our youths choose to turn to into drug abuse, while others risked their life by embarking on dangerous sea voyages to Europe via the sea, leaving behind opportunities that they could harness to make a decent living.
Having observed that youth make the biggest demographic bracket, therefore empowering them is the logical option. They need to be engaged in all aspects of society. But that would be impossible if their skills remained undeveloped and if access to finance and jobs remained just a pipe dream. We, therefore, call on government through the Ministry of Youth and Sports to do more to curtail the involvement in violent crimes in the country.
We, therefore, re-echo a call made by the Public Relations Officer of The Gambia Police for young people to direct their youthful energy into productive ventures.
"I think it's important for us as a society to remember that the youth within juvenile justice systems are, most of the time, youths who simply haven't has the right mentors and supporters around them - because of circumstances beyond their control."