Editorial - November 22nd, 2009
November 22nd, 2009
Ousainou Krubally's narrative of his recent Basse trip is an interesting read. On a personal level, it must have been a great homecoming for a native son. Ousainou both interacted and worked with the townsfolk. He participated in community activities. He met with the elders and committee members of the Basse central mosque. He strolled in town, visiting familiar and historical places like Gugu Gugu Baju and Sala Company, and taking pictures of the people of the town. Ousainou was acting like a travel writer, taking snapshots and keeping a journal of thoughts and observations on what he had seen and learned. For Ousainou, the trip must have been doubly rewarding: a chance to reconnect with family and friends, and a greater chance still, to contribute towards community betterment. We are grateful that Ousainou was able to send us a report on his trip. If his narrative was short on details, this was more than compensated for by his beautiful pictures. Their imagery is captivating. They convey a lot of information about our town and its people.
It should be revealed that Ousainou was tasked by the Basse Association, Inc. to meet with members of the sister organizations Basse Youth Association (BYA) in Basse and the Development Association of Basse Natives in the Kombos (DABANKO). He met with both. Although he didn't flesh out in his write-up the results of his engagements, we are happy that he made the move in the first place. We wanted him to demonstrate solidarity with our brothers and sisters on the ground. This was meant to strengthen mutual ties and ally any fears of inter-group division. And also to prepare the groundwork for future collaborative efforts. It was never lost on us at the BA that at some point, there would need to be some synchronization of efforts involving all the three organizations. How we do that has been the subject of much debate on the forum lately.
And that is rightly so. Some debate ought to take place. This is no time for fence-sitting. Or unnecessary cautionary restraint. We need to speak out as honestly as possible but do so from the premise that the matter is really not that hard to resolve. In our attempts to discuss and address this matter, it is important that we do not blow it out of proportion. It is that simple: each society operating independently and still eying towards some cooperative work where the interests of Basse come into play. And this entails awareness and understanding of the aims and objectives of all the three organizations. Their respective constitutions and mission statements should inform and provide us with an insight into how some commonality can be fashioned out of this loose interconnectedness.
Talks of merger are premature at this time, for the BA is still sorting itself out. It is yet to have an elected body with the requisite mandate to embark on such far-reaching ventures. And the complexities of mergers are such that too much time and energy would be expended that would have better gone towards building the infrastructures of each individual society. Also, the idea of a unitary organization is possible but unrealistic at this time, because it would require one or two of the three societies folding up, surrendering their real estate to a singular entity. That will neither be fair nor practical. Each society has come a long way and has created a lot of goodwill for itself to allow it being swallowed into the bigger beast of organizational unity especially when the bases for that unity are not clearly defined.
Thus, we throw our support behind a Memorandum of Understanding as suggested by a number of people. It is a humble but realistic start. It has in-built mechanisms for an incremental progression towards an optimal harmonization of institutional resources for the well-being of Basse and its people. The ultimate goal here is to allow room for cooperation while still cognizant of the fact that each society can operate on its own, without let or hindrance. Come to think of it, there is very little, if any, that differentiates the three societies. We are united in terms of the goals and aspirations for Basse; the differences are rather microscopic if viewed in the larger context of Basse development.
It is doubtless that there is a shared understanding among the three societies of what Basse needs and what should be done. Should it become necessary, perhaps it will be wise to create a Council of Advisers drawn from all the three groups. This advisory body will work at the inter-group level, counseling on cooperative initiatives and being a vehicle for harmony and cohesion. This should not distract us from the larger goal of improving the lot of our people. We can all be in the service of our people either as independent entities or a collective body. Either option will do.
From the Editors