Gambian President Adama Barrow last weekend inuaguarated a bridge in Basse in the Upper River Region and named it after the late Samba Juma. The ceremony was greeted with great relief for residents of a region that have been cut off by a narrow tributary, making it extremely difficult for people to commute to the regional capital which serves as commercial hub for thousands of Gambians and non-gambians.
Surprisingly, the naming of the bridge has been seen differently in the opposition circle. The very opposition members who found fault in President Barrow’s development projects are crying foul, accusing the President of namng the bridge after his biological mother Aja Juma Jallow.
It is however clear that like many other past allegations, this one too turns out to be far from the truth. Clearly, the late Samba Juma was not a relative of President Barrow. People of Basse and its environment applauded the naming of the newly inaugurated bridge after a man who had selflessly served people until his last breath. During his lifetime, Samba Juma waa poor and limited in resources but he didn’t allow anything to stand on his way to positively impact the lives of ordinary people. Believing in his mission to serve humanity with open heart, Samba used his canoe to ferry people between Basse and Kerewan river banks any time of the day and night. He would provide canoe ride to even those without fare, including school children. Often time Samba would spend the night by the tributary side just to bail out patients, pregnant women going to the health center in Basse and back home to Wuli and Sandu.
Jaranewstv cannot comprehend the mental faculity of those creating fuss out of the bridge naming moreso to curse out the President and his mother. Their only intention is to throw sand in the already cooked soup. By filling innocent minds with dirt opposition false news peddlers think their job of unseating President Barrow on December 4th will become possible.
Would it be a crime for President Barrow to name the bridge after himself or his mother? He could have done that and go to bed with no worries, for he would not have committed any crime. Are we not still living in a country where the former President Sir Dawda Jawara of blessed memory named a major street after himself and a passenger ship and ferry after his wife Lady Chillen and home village Barajally? In the same country, Yahya Jammeh named a ferry after his Kanilai village. If no one scolded Jawara and Jammeh, why would punches be thrown at President Barrow for naming a bridge after his mother? This remindse of George Orwell, the author of The Animal Farm, who rightly said “not all birds are equal because some are more equal than others.”
It is diappointing to see 21st century people anchoring their political discourse on trivial issues. Our awareness should pass this level of pettiness and mayopic way of thinking. The sadest thing of all is that most of these nonesensical comments are coming from people who pride themselves as interlectuals. The question that we need to ask is: who is an intellectual?