Last Thursday Gambians headed to the polls to vote in the much talked about National Assembly election, voting 53 candidates out of 238 into the National Assembly.
Observers said it is the most diversified assembly ever in the country, with more than seven different parties all acquiring a seat in the law-making house, including one independent.
Gambians voted them in to steer the affairs of their lives and country for the next 5 years. Now it is up to law-makers to use the ‘momentum created by the people’ of the Gambia to deliver the democratic change they have voted for.
Indeed, the April poll is one of the most transparent elections to have happened in the Gambia, with both the EU Election Observer Mission and the African Union giving it a clean bill of health, despite GDC leader Mamma Kandeh contesting the results.
Gambians have spoken and their will must be respected in accordance with democratic principles, the foundation on which our nations progress and stability is built on.
Now that we have decided, again, it is time to reconcile and put aside our ethnic differences and work towards a better Gambia. A Gambia fit for all, irrespective of religious and tribal differences.
Sadly, the final days of campaigns leading up to the April polls, in which ‘tribalism became more prominent in the campaign narrative’ is overwhelmingly gloomy and depressing.
Clearly, there were rallies where ethnicity was exploited to mobilise political support, which indicates, sadly, that tribalism is on the rise in the Gambia. It must be halted, at any cost.
The Standard calls on the leadership of political parties to demonstrate maturity and patriotism and love for one Gambia first. Stop tribalism! One tribe, one Gambia.
The Standard calls on all Gambians to build on this achievement of clear and efficient election and consolidate gains made for a better and violence-free election next five years.
The Gambia has been through a historical moment with many things changing almost overnight, however, tribalism must never be given status.