Why not Trans-Gambia Bridge?

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Changing the name of Trans-Gambia Bridge to Senegambia Bridge makes little sense. The president is taking away our national pride to please Macky Sall and the people of Senegal.

Trans-Gambia Bridge has already become a household name. The bridge was initially named after Trans-Gambia Road – the name which is so peculiar to The Gambia as a country and also show some sense of ownership. What is ours will always be ours and the president must understand that.

The bridge is named after Trans-Gambia because it’s the most important road in the country linking The Gambia and Senegal. Why not Trans-Gambia?

Trans-Gambia is national pride just as River Gambia is. This change of name from Trans-Gambia to Senegambia has confirmed the so-called dictatorial tendency in Barrow. The president must understand that the days of executive pronouncements in gatherings without broader consultations are now over.

Every country has its indigenous names in which citizens take pride. Trans-Gambia is part of our national pride and the name of the bridge is indigenous – that we feel some sense of belonging and ownership. In fact the change in the name of the bridge should have been subjected to a national debate before Barrow’s pronouncement. 

“The bridge will henceforth be a major component of the Trans-Gambia coin for integration, development within the ECOWAS sub-region,” Barrow said, without being mindful of the importance of Trans-Gambia as national pride.

“We eat the same food and talk the same language. Today is a great day to stand here and open the bridge. No one can separate the two countries,” the president said, forgetting that is not evidentiary enough to change the name of such a national property.

The Gambia in no small measure values its relations with Senegal, but going by the history of Senegambia Federation, we can simply understand that colonial influences have taken their toll on us more we are ready to admit. That’s one of the reasons that the federation did not last long.

Let there be no doubt that Senegal is The Gambia’s most important and strategic partner, and this evident by Macky Sall’s action during our chaos transition, in which Jammeh brazenly seized Barrow’s constitutional right by hanging on to power and became helpless. 

However, Mr. President, renaming the Trans- Gambia Bridge to Senegambia Bridge to suit your political expediency is shocking and cannot be really justified.

 “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.”

William Shakespeare