By Omar Bah
The National Council for Civic Education (NCCE) recently organised a national dialogue on peaceful resolution to lands, environment and natural resources.
The conversation held at the governor’s office, graced by community representatives also brought together over hundred participants and is designed to promote peace and unity through dialogue and tolerance.
With a theme Promoting dialogue and adherence to the Rule of Law for sustain peace.
The minister of the Interior, Ebrima Mballow, said in an effort to restore trust and confidence among citizens within communities and between communities and the government, there must be a dialogue.
However, he said that can only be sustainable when such efforts are rooted in local knowledge and local engagement.
“…Whenever there is land dispute someone suffers economic consequences, others find themselves without shelter,” he said.
The minister told participants that democracy and freedom comes with responsibilities, saying it is incumbent on all citizens to be law abiding and refrain from any form of violence.
“Your involvement in this dialogue is a clear testimony of government’s commitment to its democratic principles and found it very imperative to involve all stakeholders in a bid to bring in a peaceful resolution to matters relating to land disputes, environment and natural resources.”
He prevail on them to “always” follow due process of the law and be conscious of each other.
The chairman NCCE, Sering Fye, calls for the nurturing and continuation of the peaceful coexistence that prevails in the country.
He said the forum was organised to “search for lasting peace and unity” in the country, particularly in the West Coast Region.
“The forum will also enhance awareness of rights and responsibilities and how to seek redress when one’s right is alleged to be violated. This is to restore trust and confidence among the citizens with communities and between communities and the government, after the recent fracas in some communities in the country.”
He said the fact that the dictates of democracy states that sovereignty resides in the people mean all Gambians are equal before the law, and that no one should be discriminated on the basis of ethnicity, religion, gender, language, political affiliation or other status as stipulated in section 33 of the constitution.
“We should also understand that democracy is not a system that gives the people whatever they demand at a given moment, or in the shortest possible time, but one that calls for respect for the rule of law at all times,” he advised.
West Coast governor, Bakary Sanneh, pledged to work with all the Seyfolu to support Alkalolu in promoting peace in their respective localities.