Let’s say no to tribalism in Gambia!

Wednesday, December 07, 2016

Tribalism has been a talk in every corner in The Gambia before, during and after the election, which The Gambia was never known for.

Tribalism can contribute to disunity and perpetuate inequality, discrimination and poverty. Tribalism can also affect access to natural resources in many ways.

We all know that tribalism on the other hand develops nepotistic tendencies, as people belonging to a particular individual pledge their loyalty to that person in order to get favours in securing patronage or jobs in government and the private sector.

If democracy must prevail and benefit our society, then we revisit our concept of democracy and understand that while democracy offers freedom, and promise of a successful nation, it also challenges us to be responsible citizens.

In extreme cases, tribalism dehumanises and demonises out groups.

 They tend to focus on what psychologists call the out group homogeneity bias, that is, individuals tend to see members of their own group as being relatively more varied than members of other groups.

Furthermore, tribalism is positive when the complete allegiance of a collectively nation is geared towards the collective good in nation building,  preserving the group identity as a single cohesive unit that fosters ethnic solidarity, and seeking new dimensions of development.

Tribal issues is one tradition which I believe will hold Gambia back, and it is time to begin to think more about our people than thinking about tribes, that is creating division among Gambians.

It is time to push for democracy, human rights, and a good educational system based on good values and the basic conditions of living.

The truth is most of the Gambian population are living below the poverty line. I believe that should be a concern rather than developing tribalism.

We should stick to what Gambia is known for, that is, the love, unity, harmony, hospitality within ourselves, both in The Gambia and outside The Gambia. We should not bring or adopt what we are not known for, and tribalism brings nothing, but conflict and hatred.

Tribalism certainly will put us into practicing nepotism, and nepotism is a form of discrimination in which family members and friends might have some differences.

Following some of the posts on social media, one Kemo Bojang put up on his wall “Forget about your ethnic group, it’s just a label. The most important identity is Gambian,” he said.

Fatou Jobe of Manjai said tribalism creates war or conflict in any nation, and Gambians should be mindful because we are not known for that.

She said it is very immature for Gambians to develop tribalism, and that not all but some are taking it maturely, and ‘am very happy’.

Therefore, let us say no to tribalism, we are all Gambians; whatsoever our identity is, we are Gambian!

 

Author: Adam Jobe