Recommendations to confront Abuses in Public Spaces

Boys Abuses

Recommendations to Confront Screaming and other Abuses in Public Spaces.

Each and everyone of us have the shared responsibility to confront wrongs, especially public wrongs. We have different powers beyond knowledge, different levels of authorities and even care towards victims of abuse, and love for high standards of serving. By each carefully doing what you can, we will defeat the d[oers of]evils, and the Lord of anti abuse will protect us lot more and may pay us beyond our expectations. On December 06, 2023 I experienced unnecessary prolonged screamings that seem to anger the Lord more than it angered me at the time. The Lord kept me calm and taught me lot more later, on why I should write about it and possibly help others. Everyone knows I prefer finishing the much needed Juts Quhr-aahn project over such writings, but God re-pressured me today to write on such, or I become a ‘late’ reactor who sometimes inadvertently contribute to abuses that could have been stopped or minimized. Accordingly, I urge each mentioned category to know recommendations exist to be executed. The ordinary citizens, the co-workers, the authorities, the mainstream media, etc have tasks as in a relay.

Event or place of Abuse: on December 06, 2023, around midday, an immigration officer called Mr. Lamin Fadera screamed at me, in the presence of about one hundred people (witnesses), in Banjul, the Gambia; but thousands or millions of such happens across and beyond Africa. It was not a one word or one second screaming to stop a wrong, but approximately 30 seconds of rude and indifferent vague words at an extremely high pitch. If I had overreacted, it would have lasted longer, or even lead to a fight. Among what I can remember is ‘it is not my fault [that you are sick]’. Does that sound mean or professional and what else was said for about thirty seconds? Well, may be Human cameras or the NSA have the recordings, because Gambian witnesses refused to record it with their phones for social media and beyond? How many seconds of abuse before you can think, try to pull out a phone, record and miss how much? Body cameras are ignored angels. Whereas mine was mild compared to how my uncle narrated how Gambian ferry service personnel insulted and even assaulted a Senegalese in the presence of his weak family, while co-workers watched, my uncle and others refused or never thought about recording it will be better than narrating it. My point is abuse is sadly normalized beyond police brutality, but can the best of us rise and pressure the evil doers?

More details: Many people often say what s/he did to be screamed at, arrested roughly, assaulted, etc. So what was my crime? I went to renew my passport and was in too much pain at some point, so I went to the vehicle to have some medicine. While away for pain killer, Lamin Fadera called me to no response. So his five seconds of calling is frustrating enough to an arrogant worker to warrant about thirty seconds of high pitch screaming even after learning I had good reasons to step out.

Media Recommendations or tasks: Have a daily reminder like: ‘Buy body cameras to capture unexpected abuses+, or use your phone to record and forward to xyz’, for God and good humans to possibly reward you. Every smart victim will compensate a strong witness over weak or indifferent witnesses. Since there is a date and approximate time stamps, both the authorities at the immigration department and caring media folks can investigate and declare how many departments encourage such abuses, in and beyond the Gambia. President Barrow cannot tolerate even disrespectful words, but want his citizens to accept disrespectful words and treatments, or even assaults?

Public Recommendations: It is highly vital to educate the people to be recording such, or become guilty through indifference and inaction. Whereas a body camera could have helped me gather evidence, I forgot to charge mine that day and adds to why we should invest in battery research, beyond the promising 6G capabilities of charging batteries without physical connection. You cannot expect me to take my phone to start recording him, he will either stop the abuse or try to assault me. But if about ten folks took their phones and recorded that abusive officer, then some people may learn, beyond the Gambia. Natural law and conscience give you the authority to help produce evidence where abuse exists, especially in public spaces.

Government recommendations: Even though I called for civilians to embrace the culture of cameras, owning cameras more than the government, it is vital for the government to invest enough on cameras. If there were enough cameras in such, the guilty officer will know even as his fellow workers neglect his vivid abuses, his immediate bosses may be worse than how many police+ protect their own, but if Barrow or a smarter president sees certain abuses on camera, s/he may discipline even the immigration or xyz boss for failing to act.

The ironies within the experience: I called a relative to help me with the passport, and he directed me to someone who was not helpful enough. The person asked a female officer to take my file for signing, and she started asking him, ‘you must buy me breakfast…’ She misplaced my file and vowed she gave it back to me. I explained to her she did and I gave it back to her to the next signing when she returned. Luckily, we found the file and she recommended to follow the process in a distressed tone. So I thought similar too. Another officer was calling names and wanted to give children and the elderly priority, so I explained to him that I am middle age, but happens to be sick… He considered me towards interview, which was nice of him and left me murmuring good servants exist in the Gambia government? Well, he was trying to save me only few minutes due to health, a much better officer wanted to save me a day, fuel, time etc. Lamin Cham was the interviewer and the good guy. After the interview, he could have given me another appointment date for the picture taken, but he chose better. Lamin signed and gave my file to the unmentioned semi-helpful officer, who asked what date he gave me. Lamin Cham told him, ‘ since he has medical issues, why don’t you help him get the most done today…’ Then they asked me to step out and wait for another signing or step in the process. After few minutes outside and the pain was rising, I came to ask the unmentioned officer. He told me to be patient. More minutes and more pain, but I was not comfortable in ‘disturbing’ the officer who demanded patience, so that was when I went to get medicine and when the questionable Lamin Fadera called to no response. Upon return, the unmentioned officer told Fadera ‘this is the guy who has medical issues’, and that was when the screaming started. ‘We called you and you were not here…’ I whispered softly to him, that I went to get some medicine. ‘Well, that is not my fault!’ and kept on screaming to shame me, threaten the public witnesses, or reasons best known to the Lord.

Bad Systems beyond Immigration Gambia: Although public service is hard, but every work demands tolerance from one or both sides, and we expect employees to think and tolerate lot more than customers or citizens in this case. Beside medical issues, people may step out for food, toilet, or even bad smoking habits. So after every step, good practice is to tell people estimated time before the next service. They may have cowardly excuses not to do such, but the calls of nature are to be respected than the emotions of fragile workers. Also a pen and paper to write your name and phone number when temporarily leaving will help more than verbal permissions or notifications to someone you are yet to meet. Among the inefficient suggestions Fadera made was : I and the about five percent ‘non-respondents’ should notify who when leaving. Does he or any smart worker wants people interrupting with I am going to the toilet, take medicine, have food, prayers, etc or a list of names? Devils have excuses against every solution and may claim about twenty percent of Gambians or xyz cannot write or ask someone to write for them, so a system to directly help 60 to 80% is bad?

The bosses of folks like Fadera should remind them what percentage of people fail to respond, how to tolerate or reduce it if it is intolerable percentage. It is unreasonable to think your work should be hundred percent smooth. In the case of immigration, every file have a contact number, but they may have other excuses on calling one to five percent of the people? Screaming and other abuses seem much more fun to them. Well, remember the God of all people is watching. Fadera or xyz may have screamed to hundreds or thousands of people and they reacted in which ways? You screamed at me in the presence of about one hundred people, I adversely mention your name to thousands or millions of people. I urge them to try to record you or xyz, if it repeats. I demand thorough investigation, including precise questions, but also changes to turn this to a good thing. The beloved Jesus Christ said: ‘those he healed were not cursed, but for God to perform miracles through him.’ So if Fadera admits wrongs and repents, then I have no further issues with him. If he chooses to deny these facts or his bosses and Adama Barrow refuse to act; then may God curse the guilty among them. If Gambian media houses refuse to investigate or publish this, then may Ghana, Nigeria, or xyz learn and teach millions of their citizens towards actions. The media and caring philanthropists must consider awards beyond professional journalists. Activists with great systems and which citizens submit best videos towards change deserve human and Godly rewards. May God bless us through Showlove Trinity: let’s learn, let’s work, let’s have fun.

By Jarga Kebba Gigo

An Activist and Transformer.

Optional note:

Whereas we largely talk about bribes or corruption in Africa, there are other normalized abuses we must confront. We have to differentiate bribery from Tip over great service. When my relative recommended giving that guy something before service starts, that becomes corruption and not only am I avoiding corruption , but wants to significantly fight it. So I refused that route and said if the service is satisfactory, then I may tip who I think deserve it. Although I am poor for now, upon picking the passport, I gave a small token to the officer I think did well for me. My relative was informed of the experience and he wrongly feared they may disturb him if I write such, and he feared they may use mystical powers on me. Well, I do not fear evil mystical powers and may God curse anyone who tries such on me. I have maintained and realized lot more how God can protect me and curse my enemies and even opponents who refused to learn.

The primary motive of such writings is not to hurt a small d[oer of]evil like Fadera, but how to help millions on character or being a victim. So if he takes it personally or tries to fight me in any way, then sorry for him. I do not want him fired, but disciplined. Again, if Ghana or Senegal learns from this, then one day , president Barrow or someone better may learn. We are sent to the world, so just serve and the Lord of the universe will serve you higher. It is a blessing to see wrong where the blind cannot, but a higher blessing to confront such wrongs with hope. Achievements may vary in levels, but it is virtually impossible for the Lord not to help us to be victorious and rewarded. So let us stand firm as soldiers of good over evil. They may claim ‘this is Africa or xyz,’ but ask them if African devils are beyond the grasp of the Lord? Change is inevitable and may God curse the devils in and beyond Africa.

It is vital for the media to constantly remind the public what they can do, including recording evidence instead of claims. Similarly, the media must ask specific questions to culprits and leaders who encourage them with excuses. Asking Fadera if he was not within arms length and screaming to be heard around 25 meters is one crucial question. If need be, call the potential witnesses through date and time to confirm my claims. Ask what precisely will the immigration boss and president Barrow do to end similar or worse abuses under their watch. How many years should president Barrow or xyz need to act, or what measures S/he took since heading the department or country?

Among the reasons why the civil servants find their work frustrating is their own stupidity and that of their bosses. For example, they will tell you to go inside without a specific address. Or go outside to the window, without specifying details. What is so hard in addressing rooms, halls, and windows? Go outside window 3 is lot more specific than go outside to the window. Remember you are talking about 100 people or more in a day, going to the wrong windows… even though it may seem like a few seconds to redirect a person, it adds up, adds stress and sickness, adds poor services, etc. The world of systems is very vital and when the kind Lord inspires a good or better system you inherit, you should gratefully and humbly learn. They may claim ten percent of Gambian offices have been addressed since colonial days, but what is so hard to make it one hundred percent addressing of even windows? The blind cannot see or envision the benefits of acting or the harms of inaction. Even our villages deserve addressing, but Gambians+ have too many excuses and call for patience where simple efforts will help and more deserving.

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