As Gambian youths continuing to risk their lives through the Mediterranean Sea in a desperate attempt to get to Europe, local youths have urged their contemporaries to desist from the perilous journey and make the best use of the opportunities created at home.
In the last few years, many young people have embarked on this irregular migration, locally known as the ‘Backway’ but the journey is creating more harm than good and it has killed thousands of Africans.
Speaking in an interview with the Daily Observer, Ousman Sillah, young Gambian carpenter in Brikama, said young people of The Gambia have no reason to embark on this dangerous journey to Europe since the Government is providing opportunities for them.
“President Jammeh has ushered in free education to all and created many opportunities for young people, expected to make them stay and develop the country. Most of the people went through the ‘Backway’ just for the sake of being in Europe. They have no reason of going and they are facing difficulties to have better jobs there without proper documentation,” he affirmed.
Lamin Sutay Darboe, a second-hand clothe dealer at the Serrekunda Market, said most of his brothers and friends went through the journey but said they cannot convince him to embark on it. “I have been doing this business for so long and I am satisfied with the little I have from it. Some of the ‘Backway’ immigrants quit good jobs here earning them enough income; most of them are jobless and without proper documentation to freely move in Europe,” he noted.
Darboe advised young people of The Gambia to stay at home and make the best use of the opportunities accorded them and work for the interest of the nation.
Modou Lamin Badjie, a mechanic and a student of The Gambia Technical Training Institute (GTTI), stated that as a patriotic young man, going through the ‘Backway’ should not have any space on one’s agenda.
“My last option would not even be irregular migration as my country has opportunities that can give me a better life. I am urge each and everyone, most especially students to stay away from this miserable journey; it has killed and disappeared many of our brothers and sisters,” he concluded.
by Modou Lamin Jammeh