Lm. Njie

The youths that lost their lives in the Mauritania Coast didn’t sign up to death. No one will sign up to a journey that will claim their live, and I’m not encouraging anyone to dare try such a journey. As it is perilous, destructive and sacrificial. Even though migration is a fundamental human rights, please young people of this country, let’s evaluate & gauge the successes and failures registered by ‘back way’to Europe, then we will understand how unworthy it is. This perilous journey has claim more than enough young abled Gambians. According to IOM, as of between 2015 and 2016 Gambia registered 17,248 deaths. And obviously this death toll has risen since then. So should we continue to gamble our lives in the name of pursue for greener pastures? There’s always a way as there’s hope, but back way is not the way. For how many more young souls have to perish before we get this straight? Please let’s [youths] desist from choosing back way as a choice and hope for a better life. Not all glitters is gold. We can take charge of our country; as it is clear that we have a stake in the national development of this country. If government don’t call us to the table, we must demand a seat to the table and have our share of the national cake.

Today, we mourn young abled Gambians who could have become anything in the future because of their desire, ample ambition; coupled with their zeal to break the circle of poverty and inequality. It was a mission of good course. They simply feeling the devastation of poverty and economic inequality. May God have mercy on their souls.

However, this could have been avoided, all the mentioned unfortunate tragedies could have been prevented. And no one person is to be blame for them, but we can take swift responsibilities to address our flaws and unwavering craves we have developed for Europe! Notwithstanding, the government should ask theirself this question, why do our youths continue to die in their pursuit for greener pastures? Most importantly, let govt answer why do we still have chunk of our youths choosing back way over Gambia? What’s going wrong or where do we get it wrong? The December 2016 election victory, brought along satiable hopes, inspire change and a new dimension in nationhood. It felt like a death kennel, as every Gambian feel emancipated once more. The believe that Gambia will prevail, becomes more realistic than ever before. Unfortunately, still meaningful change seems pretty much a far-fetched goal for tiny Smiling Coast of Africa. [GAMBIA].

One of the major causes young people take on ‘back way’ to Europe is lack of opportunities, and the belief in dreams of greener pastures (that upon arrival in Europe, I can easily or quickly change things back home, which I’m not refuting but is that the reality?) We ought to change our mindset on the basis we seek for success. There’re no short cut to success and it’s not magic. It’s hard work plus luck; it’s hard work, perseverance and determination that leads you to success. And white colored job does not develop a nation, especially a developing country. Only a handful of Gambians are involved or interested in skill learning; those in Gambia Technical Training Institute (GTTI) amd the few learning through apprenticeship. Young people need to venture into skill acquiring trades become self- employed. In the near future employ fellow Gambians. But how many of us think like this, not even our govt.

Agriculture is Gambia’s most viable resource but for some how, we still don’t seem to see the significant impact this sector can do for our country’s development. It can employ three-third of the youth populace, as it’s already doing for many Gambians. While addressing hunger, nutrition security and ensuring food self sufficiency. In a nutshell govt should devise a plan to address this seemingly unending onerous journey that continue to claim the lives of young prospective Gambians.

The parents should dissuade their children from even developing a desire for backway. Some parents are failing woefully in their parental obligations. They don’t get involved in the lives of their children. All they do is put food on the table, clothe them and shelter them. Parenting is way beyond these. As a parent, you owed it to your children to give them quality education, decent life and prepare them for the future. Education is the only investment that will never be vain. So before giving or helping your child to raise lot of money for only to be able to take on the back way journey, (who does that?), rather invest in their education or send them to learn a trade/skill. Then no one will have to mourn for backway tragedy.

The hope & confident we vested in life at abroad (semester life), is but a dillusion, part of the problems and factors fueling backway syndrome in Gambia. Some parents or entire family may believe and even rely on remittances for their upkeep. This syndrome also give birth to laziness and dependance. Thus, both parents, the children and govt have a hand as to why backway is pursuit, all is to blame. And all must make a stride to address it.

On a final note, I wish to send my deepest condolences to the families of the deceased and may their gentle souls rest in eternal peace. Ameen!

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