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No to tribalism!

Nov 24, 2015, 9:51 AM

The President of the Republic has completely denounced tribalism or tribal politics, vowing to deal with “enemies bent on causing rift amongst Gambians using tribal politics”.

Tribalism or tribal politics should actually be condemned in this modern time of ours, as it is a bad omen for societal development.

We have also seen how tribal politics has led to the destruction of the social fabric, lives and national development, around the world, especially in Africa.

Countries like Rwanda, DR Congo, Central African Republic, South Sudan, and many more have suffered the destiny of tribalism or tribal politics.

So we in The Gambia should not condone it!

As the President rightly said, tribalism destabilises the growth, peace and security of a nation. It should, therefore, not be tolerated.

Tribalism has been the bane of independent Africa; so we should eschew it, and always embrace love for one another, peace and tranquillity, as we are all kith and kin living in the same country we have to develop for our common good.

Hence there should be no room for tribal politics.

Writing about tribalism and its negative effects, an article titled: Sub-Saharan “Ethnic Politics” – a Political Force or an Easy Way to Brigandage?, and published in the Addis Tribune of February 15, 2002, writer Yohannes Chane Metiku, says: Tribalist ideas and feeling are used most often to create a clientele who can help them to satisfy their selfish interests and ambitions. Tribalism is expressed in different forms, of which the following are the main ones:

1. “The tribalist constantly exaggerates and boasts about the qualities, merits and good deeds of the tribe…On the other hand he refuses to recognize their faults, and even tries systematically to hide them. With respect to other [ethnic groups], exactly the opposite attitude prevails.”

2. “The tribalist indulges freely in liberalism and favoritism towards people of his tribe… By contrast, he is in general very sectarian towards people of other [ethnic groups]…”

3. “The tribalist tries to grant all privileges and posts of responsibility to the people of his tribe.”

4. “Conversely, the tribalist seeks to exempt his own people from their duties and obligations… from the most dangerous or humiliating missions.”

5. “The tribalist practices… favoritism in the division of material benefits and the distribution of material services.”

6. “Occasionally, the tribalist even believes that those who are not his tribe are too rich and fortunate to deserve his help.”

7. “Some extend tribalism as far as preferring marriage between black women and white men to marriage between the tribes.”

8. “In politics, the supreme expression of tribalism consists of demanding the formation of so-called independent republics which in fact have tribal basis; failing this, tribalists demand ‘federation with regional autonomy’ with the distribution of political and administrative power following tribalist lines.”

The above facts about tribalism give a good picture of tribalists, and challenge us all to make conscious efforts to shun it.

“I think, tribalism is a mental prison….”

Duop Chak Wuol