#Article (Archive)

Beyond Politics of Self Interest

Apr 7, 2008, 8:22 AM

Sidia Jatta is right. Being in the opposition does not mean that one should run down everything done by the ruling party even when it is clearly in the best interest of the nation. Ever since he spoke on behalf of the Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly at a tripartite meeting of National Assembly Members, regional governors and chiefs at the Atlantic Hotel, Hon Sidia Jatta has come under the flax in some quarters for taking up such an assignment.

Those who insinuate that the Wuli West strong man has sold out miss the point. Sidia Jatta, given his long experience in politics and matchless patriotism, can distinguish party interest from national interest. If that meeting had been to serve the interest of the governing party, we are sure that Honourable Sidia Jatta would not have had anything to do with it. But because he knew that the deliberations were of national importance, he accepted the responsibility of standing in for the Deputy Speaker.

We see nothing wrong with what he has done; he acted in the best interest of the nation

Whether we are members of the ruling party or the opposition, we should be mindful of the national interest at all times. The National Assembly Members are elected to foster the national interest at all costs. Politicians who place party interest over and above national interest are a disservice to the nation, just as it is counterproductive to oppose the ruling party for the fun of doing so. There should be genuine grounds for doing so.

It is strange how most of us leap to conclusions without taking the trouble to find what lies beneath the surface. The moment we hear or see something, we are inclined to read into it what we want to believe. And often what we want to believe is a figment of our imagination. It is this tendency to act on presumption that has landed many people in trouble in this country.

We urge the entire nation to ponder on the wise words of Sidia Jatta that "We are legislators and as legislators we must be objective as much as possible. We must also know that what we say is very important. What we say can make or break the country."  We as a people would be wise to think hard and long before running away with hearsay and rumours.

What we want to see in this country is politics of peace, progress and prosperity. Seen in this light, if the government is up to some good, we should support it. By contrast, if it is going off track, we must never waste a moment to blow the whistle.

"They died to save their country and they only saved the world".

G.K. Chesterton