By Alhagie Babou Jallow
The National Council for Civic Education on Saturday kicked off a massive sensitization campaign ahead of the local government elections.
The elections are scheduled for 12 April and 12 May, 2018 for Councilors and Mayoral/ Chairpersons elections respectively.
The sensitization is a nationwide campaign which begins in Passamas, Wuli East District and Fantumbung in the Kantora District both in the Upper River Region.
The outreach is the first phase of the local government elections sensitizations Campaign activities which will cover the length and breadth of the country. The first phase is covering forty (40) selected communities in the URR.
The aim of the campaign is to sensitize the general public on the forthcoming Local Government Elections, to enlighten the citizens about the importance, roles and functions of Mayors/Mayoresses, Chairpersons and Councilors in the development of communities.
The campaign aims to enhance citizens’ political awareness and to promote massive participation in the elections to address the perennial voter apathy that has characterised past elections.
The sensitization engagements will also seek to promote unity and political tolerance among citizens, to ensure peace during and after the elections.
Speaking during a meeting at the two villages Fangtumbong and Gidda in the Kantora District, Ansumana Yabou, Senior Civic Education Officer, (NCCE) who is covering 20 villages in the Jimara, Basse, Tomana, and Kantora, said elections are the lifeblood of a democracy, and means rule by the people and democratic election gives the citizen the chance to choose their representatives in the Government.
“Election gives you the chance to vote for someone who will bring development to your communities,” he told the gathering.
Mr Yabou reminded them that it is the role of the councilors to ensure that citizens benefit from the taxes they pay through provisions of basic social services such as water, street light, market, feeder road, support women with labour saving devices such as milling machine, women garden, support the education of children through scholarship, environment sanitation among others.
He reiterated the importance of political tolerance, saying that for the election to be meaningful and democratic all the people must have a choice which should be expressed in freedom.
“People should tolerate each other during and after the election and when one party wins, all should come together as one and work towards the development of the country. There is no loser in an election as the verdict of the majority should be respected,” he said.
He advised them to desist from any form of political violence, saying no candidate or political party should insult or slander another candidate.
Imam Kikuta Sanyang, Mamadou SuSu, Cherno Sanyang and Salieu Sesawo, of Fangtombo Village, all expressed gratitude to the NCCE for sharing the knowledge.
They lamented that they have been paying their taxes for years to their area council but they have not seen any development registered in their communities.