The recent plethora of castigations, resentments, lethal words and caricatures launch between the political camps in the UTG are gravely worrisome. An institution that is expected to nurture and exhibit qualities of good leadership, political harmony and tolerance, maturity and a deep sense of professionalism in both character and conduct, actions and inactions — has its students disguised as politicians busy launching rockets of injurious rhetorics directed at shattering each other’s support grips.
One would have thought politics in the *University of The Gambia* is one that is built on an absolute sense of professionalism, due regard for one another, and the marketing of policies – a trajectory that is altruistic, yet very expensive – a trajectory that remains firm in attempts to breaching and navigating it – one that is intimidating to unprofessional and inept politicians.
Rather, politicians in the UTG have busied themselves excelling in perpetuating hatred, contempt and disunity among themselves – one that breaches the very foundations, ideals and values on which the STUDENTS’ UNION is built on – one that undermines the very unionism our predecessors have unflinchingly dedicated their time—building. It will be very cynical and callous of us to allow these fragments of students of our dear University to plague this dream of unionism for us and generations to come.
Swiftly, I’ve observed with concern: the involvement of the Students’ Union in the transmission of these rhetorics. In as much as they are a party to the messages, I expect the Union to advise itself well in exchanging words that are polite and harmless. I’m not oblivious of the fact that they have been directly involved in the fuss, however, they could clarify their stance without the use of such a diction heavily armed with similar rhetorics conveyed in the dispatch conveying the allegations.
Students of the UTG crave for a political atmosphere that gives considerations to only professional, yet respectful rebuttals premised on policies, not one that projects demoralization of personalities or a distortion of a team’s image. These tantrums being thrown at each other speaks bad about the UTG and its students. It projects a bad notion to society, that which devalues, disregards and un-recognizes our worth in terms of having the panacea to resolve the development crises hounding on our nation.
Hence, I wish to, with utmost respect, call to order both political parties, UTG INTER-SCHOOL ALLIANCE FOR CHANGE and THE SALVATION-SOLUTIONISTS COALITION and the Students’ Union; to observe maximum decorum and sanity in the political landscape. May I remind us that it’s only a matter of time until the lines parting us into teams discontinue to exist – we would then remain as students of the University of The Gambia. Furthermore, we may kindly remember that this relegation would happen at the end of the day – as soon as the political dusts settle in November, 2021.
To the electorates, Students of the UTG, in light of this political fuss, you may choose to understand that the goal is to mobilize and acquire your support, vote, and to serve you. Who truly stands for your interest would be determined by you through your respective perspectives. Thus, I urge you to consider the actions and non-verbal cues of the candidates, their policies and how well they explain their operationalization, leadership track record and personal qualities, inter alia, as you may deem needful to choose the best. Remember, your interest is first and should remain first – nothing less or inferior.
Accordingly, I wish to call on the UTGSU-Electoral Commission to take a firm stance on this issue – caution the political camps to accord with dignity, due regard and respect for one another. And take stringent measures against any camp that is non-compliant. I equally hope the UTGSU-CRC 2021 will establish clauses that seek a legal recognition of these political camps. Such that, it would make it easier to hold them to account for the realization of unity, peace and stability in the UTG.
To conclude, we must understand that, by virtue of our differences in choices, acquaintances and reasoning: it makes us only humans. A people with common objectives. Let’s observe political tolerance and do it with civility. After all, we are ambassadors of the same entity. We can coexist amidst our political differences. It’s possible.
Modou Lamin Jammeh
Former President _UTG-SAPEH.