NAM warns against hate speech ahead of tense December elections

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By Awa Macalo

The National Assembly minority leader has warned Gambians against political hate speech ahead of what he says will be the tensest presidential election in the country’s history.

Samba Jallow of the National Reconciliation Party who is also the representative for Niamina Dankunku, told Star FM in an interview to aired today: “Every Gambian has the right to belong to any political party and vote for the candidate of their choice but I want to advise Gambians to approach the December election with good intent and total maturity. We should avoid endangering the peace and stability of this country.”

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Of recent, the mercury of the country’s political temperature has risen warranting many Gambians to plead for calm.

Adding to the chorus, Jallow added: “I know already that I will vote for Adama Barrow if the NRP didn’t put up a candidate in the election but I cannot force anyone to vote for him. Every Gambian has a right to a choice of candidate. This is why I want to advise all party leaders to advise their supporters against insinuating violence in the run-up to the election and after.

“We must not peddle in political rhetoric that will damage our social fabric. As politicians, we should not speak in tongues that will divide us. Election is for just a very short period, so let us say and do things that we will not regret. The December election will be the tensest election in the history of this country. There will be no election like this year’s election. This is because of the political tension that has been gathering storm since the breakdown of the coalition,” he said.

Alive and well

The lawmaker said the NRP is still strong and will never die. Asked whether the party has decided to support Barrow in December, Jallow said: “We cannot decide whether the NRP will support Barrow or we will go alone. Our congress will decide whether we will back him or not. But I can tell you that the writings are on the wall that Barrow will win the election.

Coalition

Mr Jallow who has been the minority leader in the assembly since 2012, stated: “It has been proven that coalitions do not last and the 2016 coalition should be a lesson to Gambians that voting in [a coalition of] many political parties with different ideas will not work. This is why we are having all this mess today.”