The politics of fear manipulates us to tribalism
It is evident that we need to belong to groups, crave bonds and attachments, which is why we love clubs, teams, fraternities, family thus a human tribal. No one is a hermit, but tribal instinct is not just an instinct to belong. It is also an instinct to exclude. At a tribal level, people are more emotional and consequently less logical that they regress to tribalism when afraid.
The NRP Political Leader and Minister of Tourism Hamat NK Bah for the sake of his position in the country’s leadership should not see or identify himself solely as a member of the Fula tribe, but as a citizen of the nation of one people working and leading towards the goal of every Gambian’s best interest. It is well noted that tribalism is a biological loophole that many politicians have banked on for a long time across the world but the Gambia have seen and graduated from it as one Gambia one People and one Nation.
Fear is a very strong tool that can blur humans’ logic and change their behaviour. Honourable Hamat Bah as he envisages the fall of President Barrow in 2021 Elections as a result of poor governance in political, economic social, technological, legal and environmental aspects of Gambians, the Gambia’s comedian and most unprofessional Minister since independence resort to tribal card. The NRP leader using the Fula tribe to intimidate adversaries by shepherding the tribe to his rescue.
It is now the order of the day in the Barrow administration to close ranks and become more insular, more defensive, more punitive, more us-versus-them to divide and rule the Gambia. Minister Bah want to make the Fulas feels this way to some extent by making such remarks to separate them form the rest of the Gambians, so they feel their group is being attacked, bullied, persecuted, discriminated against. Of course, one group’s claims to feeling threatened and voiceless are often met by another group’s derision because it discounts their own feelings of persecution—but such is political tribalism.
He should influence his government to ensure the fundamental rights and freedom are adhered to according to the Gambian 1997 Constitution. Every Gambian Citizen should be equal to the other irrespective of tribe. Sense of belonging cannot be controlled but universalism can be ensured. The Gambia is made of multiple tribes, communities but is a nation whose government Minister Bah is a major player. Price of applications for Gambian documents should be affordable and accessible. The Barrow Government increased the main document identity card to D500 from D200 with the foreign company Semlex in 2017 which deprive the majority jobless people identity.
His Ministry is among the most challenged industry in the Gambia in this pandemic as a result of prior poor management and leadership from the Minister and his Boss President Barrow. Since the bankruptcy of Thomas Cook, Tourism start to decline even more, followed by Covid-19 travel restrictions. The Gambia tourism is virtually collapsed. D100,000,000 support for the industry businesses and workers have not be realised with the excuse that they have not paid dues for 2019/2020 forgetting the challenges faced by these retailers and workers. Instead of mitigating the circumstances, Minister Bah is politicking with tribal remarks.
It is also important to note that speaking ill of other tribes is discrimination and is unconstitutional. Hon. Abdoulie Saine of the APRC was called for questioning in making some remarks against tribes by this government. The Fula should not be blackmailed with thought control of them and us. The Gambia is for all and no one can be more Gambian than another. The NRP leader should be the last person to make such a speech in a bid to gain political loyalty from his own tribe due to fear adversary of Gambia Democratic Congress (GDC). It is certain that his party electorates are multiple of tribes I would recommend he apologise to the people of the Gambia.
MC Cham JNR
GDC National Youth President.