Bulldozing the Criminals
Monday, May 28, 2012
Bringing relevant stakeholders to the table to discuss the worrying issue of rising crime in this hitherto relative crime-free country cannot come later than the day President Jammeh convened meeting with National Security Council at State House in Banjul. This means that meeting is long overdue but, as the adage of the day goes, it is better late than never.
Whether it is Operation Bulldozer or any other name, it is without that any move that seeks to bulldoze criminals and their wrecking enterprises in The Gambia is with the blessing and support of all well-meaning Gambians as well as non-Gambians resident in the country. Therefore, we hope that all relevant stakeholders will pick up from there and carry-on with the much needed services of ridding our beloved Gambian of criminals.
However, caution is required here. And this takes us to President Jammeh’s order for the security personnel to shoot at (suspected) armed robber and ask questions later. The implications and possible undesirable consequences that could result from that order are serious, but we do hope and pray that the police will always bear in mind the loaded word of ‘reasonability.’ We hope as well that in this process, considerable efforts will be done to spare the innocents.
Criminal enterprises such as armed robbery, drug and human trafficking are lucrative. Those engaged in them are aware of that, and are continually devising means of escaping the long arm of the law. They are highly sophisticated and naturally have collaborates that are influential personalities in the society.
Therefore, fighting such criminals is not a matter of face-to-face war. It requires means, resources, tactics and a whole lot of sophistication. More importantly, it requires intelligence. Unfortunately for a small and closely knitted Gambia, which it should not cost a fortune to contain crime, the intelligences are best at getting at political opponents and critics.
We hope now that Operation Bulldozer has been launched, this trend will change, and the state security agents will be directed to focusing on those that clearly pose threats to our own existence rather than those that differ in opinion with the powers that be.