By Fatoumatta K Jallow
Mr Alieu K. Jammeh, the Minister of Youth and Sports has said “No one wins in a violent political conflict.”
He stressed that “in an event where differences arise due to the simultaneous pursuit of incompatible goals,” the proven practice is that reaching “an amicable resolution that is sustainable, is achieved through negotiation and/or mediation.”
The minister made these remarks while addressing a national youth convergence on Gambian youth agenda which will create a platform for interaction between youths, key stakeholders and government; convened by Activista in close collaboration with the National Youth Council on Thursday 22nd December 2016.
In relation to the present situation, he said “We currently live in an era, which in my honest opinion, has become the most defining moment capable of affecting the future of our country in ways as never before. As a result, I dare say that there is likely no event in the history of the country that is not dwarfed by how deeply our collective political culture could be shaped, for good or bad, by recent developments.”
He further explained that as a people, we can be excited by the possibilities that could be derived from the fluidity of the moment to enrich our democratic values and construct a governance formula based on the consensus of both the governed and the governors.
“That is the thrilling bit and a nutrient for our minds prepared to shatter the old-fashion mental constructs that continue to hold back our progress. These artificial cleavages include allowing ourselves to be defined along ethno linguistics lines of behaviour. We have to transcend these characterizations in order to be able to fulfill our fullest potentials as a people.
“On the other hand, the anxiety will be the missed opportunity to see the positive that such evolutionary trends in human relations avail us but rather allow the moment to consume us with fear of the unknown. Whereas fear, uncertainty and being fearful are some of the biggest impediments to progress, tackling and conquering them are the only sure way to innovation and celebrated ingenuity,” the minister said.
He highlights that the state of flux that we are in right now has the potential to lead us into three possible directions. One of them could be to consolidate the familiar. The other one is propelled by the desire to unleash energies in search of the unfamiliar, and the third behaviour could be a bumpy ride ending with an unimaginable anarchy.
“So right now, we all have a choice to decide which direction to pursue and beginning with myself, my rational instinct encourages that we embark on the middle ground to unfamiliarity. The knowledge of the familiar and who we are becomes only useful when it is used as building blocks to become what we aspire to be.
He said to that end, ‘I implore all of you to collectively pull your positive energies together and accommodate all progressive ideas to make our shared destiny better for all of us and generations to come.
“Without necessarily being judgemental, my assumption is that it is you the young men and women of our great country who will need to shoulder the noble responsibilities of building bridges across our artificial divisions so that the giant that we are can be awakened for our development”.
He said any temptation that could lead to violence and chaos in our discourse and/or interactions should be avoided etc.
He said the youth to make good use of this opportunity to renew their individual and collective resolve to safeguard the peace, tolerance and tranquility of this country whilst restating, one more time, and their demands that their needs and aspirations are addressed in a timely manner.