UTG: a national triumph
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
The idea to create the University of the Gambia is perhaps one of the most significant decisions to have been undertaken in this country this century.
As an educational institution, UTG has the greatest bearing, potentially, on the development of this country. If the universally acclaimed adage that 'education is the key to success' is anything to go by, then the above mentioned statement is indisputably established.
Therefore, efforts for the realisation of maximum benefit from it calls for a focused nationalistic approach. And this must be embedded in the foundation we are now putting together, a foundation that will shape the long term outlook of the institution, and, to quite a great extent, determine the kind of professionals the institution produces in the long term, and the future of our Gambia.
With the successes being registered by this institution since its inception, we have been emphasising and re-emphasising a fact that people tend to overlook: that if you let the outsider feel they know your needs better than yourself, and you ignoramously go further to give them that privilege, you shall remain the most demoralised people of your time. Unfortunately, this was the privilege our colonial master enjoyed for over 430 years.
And the price we paid so dearly quite commensurated our unintentional blunder.
When the talk of the establishment of UTG first surfaced, it met with unequivocal voices of damnation. But by the grace of Allah, we had just been blessed with a leadership that was genuinely true to the realities of this unfair world, and was committed to its course. The plan would go ahead anyway.
Years later, after adventurous manoeuverings, we are basking under the sun of a national triumph. Any move from whosoever, for whatsoever reason, with a bit of semblance of an attempt to set adrift this national triumph, is sure to be met with a response that is guided by the spirit of the truest form of nationalism.
The nation first before anything. This is in line with the 'Gambian dream.' It is in this spirit that we concur with President Jammeh that this citadel of learning should not be used to launch clandestine counter-productive missiles in the guise of academia. The civilised world has since come to terms with the fact that radicalism, most often that not, derails genuine courses.
In fact, one of the reasons behind the successes of UTG is its ever rising popularity among neighbouring countries in the region and beyond, and this is largely because of one thing: peace. If this peace is disturbed, we are bound to join other countries where universities have been reduced to mere rubbles that serve as springboards for destruction rather construction. No way! UTG is here to inculcate positive thinking rather than instigating ideas that breed fascists and destabilizing ideologies.
To the graduating students, our heartfelt congratulations. Be proud of yourselves for having carved a place for yourselves in the proud history of this nation. Always remember that you owe this nation something. You must use your hard earned knowledge in the most noble of manners; give to others as has been given to you!
To the continuing and prospective students, your destiny is in your own hands.