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  • Writer's pictureLamin Darboe, Leicester, UK

Opinion: Lang Tombong’s Testimony revealed a scaring malaise in our national consciousness

Updated: Dec 21, 2020

Listening to Lang Tombong Tamba (LTT), I sensed, our nation need radical shift in civic education as well as conventional education. His testimony revealed that our government actors during Yaya’s era internalised irrevocable allegiance to their tribe than to the nation.

General Tamba (Rtd) appeared before the TRRC to testify about Human Rights violations under former President Jammeh

Even though LLT was oppressed and incarcerated by the tyrant Jammeh, he still could not see any fault in Jammeh's actions, that is pitiful slave mentality.

The worst thing is, he did not even know the remit and implications of his responsibility as CDS and he utterly failed to acknowledge the need for systemic change.

It seems he wasn't qualified to be CDS because he categorically stated he did not know the legal rights of an arrested person on any charges levied against that person, being it coup, murder or stealing. The arrest of an accused person must be conducted according to law and his or her constitutional rights must be protected.

He did not know, a warrant is needed, that an accused can demand a lawyer and that you cannot detain a person beyond 72 hours. That type of CDS is that, infatuated with position and tribal hegemony. His exaggerated reaction to Pharing Sanyang's torture was decoy to paint himself with a humanist demeanour because if he was genuine, he would have taken concrete actions to ensure it does not happen to any service personnel or civilian.

Yaya Jammeh is a scar on our national psyche and our nation need national re-orientation to erase bad notions he implanted in the minds of many promising young men especially among his tribe.

Gambia, we still have a long way to go. The next government which I am.hopeful shall be UDP-lead, shall instill a sense of national duty and love of our nation.

When state actors cannot look beyond tribal allegiance and see themselves as contributing stakeholders in national development, that nations is skiing on turbulent waves.

It should start from primary school by developing our curriculum to teach civic duties, love of nation, the virtues of honesty, truthfulness, trustworthiness, responsibility, the evil of misappropriating state resources for selfish personal uses.

If not the adage that, a cow graze where you tie it should be a permanent ethos in our national conscience and believe yet one of most destetable actions which made our prophet sallalahu alaihe wa sallam so angry that he ascended the pulpit and announced like thus,

"Anyone we sent on a mission to collect zakaat and returns and tell us this is your zakat but these other items were donated to me, when if he stayed in his father's house, he will not be donated"

All of us must be aware, monies earned on official duties are state resources and must be rendered to state. That to create travel opportunities so that state officials can earn per-diem is all fraud and a dredge on our meagre resources.

Second aspect of civil re-orientation is study of local languages at primary and secondary school education. Every student should study at least two local languages in addition to his own dialect.

Many nations reformed their civic education and national curriculum to instigate a development mindset and pave the way for a renaissance.

Rwanda is an example, few years ago it was war zone but with good leadership and civic orientation, its now the envy of the world.

L Darboe



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