The Right Attitude….
A mountain, it is said, is made up of small stones. When one considers how far we have fallen from democratic principles and the consequences of that fall, one cannot help but keep a watchful eye on how our new dispensation is moving, even though it is faltering from time to time.
Last week, I heard an announcement on Gambia Radio and Television Services that President Adama Barrow had donated two vehicles to them. Two questions arise here: did Adama Barrow donate this from his personal estate? Or, did the officer who made the presentation use the wrong words? Whichever of the two it is, we need an explanation.
Gambia Radio and Television Services is a government institution and Pres. Adama Barrow is the Chief Executive of the government. GRTS should have a budget based on government subvention. When therefore GRTS needs vehicles, it is proper for them to write to the government and make a request. Fulfilling that request is a duty of the government and not an act of charity on the part of the president.
You see, Mr President, some may think that these are minor issues but they are not. There must be a democratic culture which has to be respected to the letter. Among these is the way that citizens address you. The leader of a people is their servant and as such, you, being the head of all government workers are rightly referred to as the Chief Servant. Our national languages do not encourage a democratic culture and we, as a people, should be mindful of that. Just the other day, I heard someone say ‘Joom Leydi o’ that is Fula for (the owner of the country). In Mandinka they say ‘Bankoo tiyoo’, and in Wolof ‘Borom reewmi’. These are undemocratic statements and they are a danger to the democratisation process. For one reason, it makes the person referred to see himself as what he is not.
Some of our people are of the opinion that these are not very serious issues but as I said earlier, a mountain is made up of small stones. We must nip this phenomenon in the bud. Let us use the right words at all times. Language is the vehicle of culture and of ideas. It is words that carry our ideas everywhere, transport beliefs from place to place, and from generation to generation. Whoever thinks that words do not have consequences does not know the power of words. There are many examples one can quote to highlight this but this is not the right place and time.
I urge, n, I demand, that government comes out and explain this issue. Did Pres. Barrow donate the vehicles from his personal estate; or, did GRTS report the presentation wrongly? We need answers, the Yahya Jammeh way of doing things, personalising everything is over.
We are all ears!
Tha Scribbler Bah
A Concerned Citizen