Authorities act stubborn after warning from Wuli

Friday, March 23, 2018

After several media reports over disputes over rice fields in Wuli, the authorities have shown negligence by failing to act, resulting to severe clash in which many people got injured.

The purpose of the media is not to correct things in the society but to identify issues for authorities to act and that’s exactly what we did.

The Point earlier this month reported that the first dispute over rice fields between the villages arose in 1977, but was settled by the then Chief Muhammed Krubally, who demarcated a boundary for the field.

This time, both villages called for government’s intervention, warning there will be possible bloodshed if government fails to act to arrest the situation.

The calling on government was meant to avert severe clash between the villages because land dispute is always a complicated issue. It was the business of the authorities to act to arrest the situation, but a failure could and has resulted to an eventual ugly scene.   

It is no secret that the two villages have harboured a deep seated hatred against each other as a result of rice fields. The authorities could have acted swiftly to making sure that a more concrete and realistic measures were harnessed to come up with a lasting solution – a solution that is even more concrete than 1977 solution.

Even if authorities had acted as signalled by the villages, a right measure was not probably used to avert the clash. It is the duty of the authorities to go out there and dig beneath the surface so that a lasting solution is found to the problem.

Land disputes can tear apart communities particularly areas meant for agricultural productivity. These kinds of problems are not new to The Gambia, but all that we want is to see no replica of history being made as a result of land dispute between Sankandi and Jattaba during the colonial period.

“The current neglect of the problem can only irritate this deplorable state of affairs. The Authorities  should constitute a warning to our society, that must be heeded if we are to preserve the society."

Andrew Goodman