The Youth Movement for Peace and Unity in Africa (YOMPUA), a registered youth organisation based in Farato village, Kombo North, recently organised a one-day workshop on the need to stop the illegal immigration of youths through risky journeys in the high seas.
The workshop which was on the theme “Youths and illegal immigration” brainstormed on measures to curb this perilous phenomenom.
Speaking at the workshop, Mr Mamadou Bah, chairperson of the organisation, said illegal migration is a threat to The Gambia’s youth population and that everybody has a role to play to combat the situation. He continued that illegal migration has an adverse effect on The Gambia’s socio-economic development. Mr Bah emphasised that to curb the issue of illegal migration, The Gambia government most strengthen the marine security around the River Gambia and the Atlantic Ocean.
Mr Bah then challenged youths to be ready to take up their responsibilities in national development. He also urged the government to provide avenues to engage the youths.
Representing the inspector general of police, Ensa Badjie, commissioner of police in Western Region, urged youths to put aside the syndrome of travelling to Europe through the Atlantic Ocean which is very risky.
Police Commissioner Badjie challenged youths to be ready to work for the development of the country. He also challenged parents to desist from selling their lands just to sponsor their children to take the risky and deadly journey to Europe. Police Commissioner Badjie stressed that The Gambia government will not bend its laws for anyone who is a victim of illegal imigration.
Major Sainey Bayo, who deputised for the chief of defence staff, Brigadier General Lang Tombong Tamba, in his statement, noted that for any nation to develop dto higher heights, she must have an active youth force. He narrated a scenario concerning a visit he made to the UK where he met some Gambian youths who were crying to come back to the Gambia due to the difficulties they were facing. According to him, illegal migration is dangerous, time wasting and deadly.
Other Speakers included Sulayman Trawally, permanent secretary, Department of State for Agriculture, who urged the youths to focus on national development.