By Olimatou Coker
National Council for Civic Education, NCCE, with support from ECOWAS has concluded a nine-day community dialogue on peace building, political pluralism and tolerance in CRR and NBR.
The dialogue, themed “Consolidating Peace, Democracy and Good Governance in The Gambia” was held recently in communities of Pakau Njogu in Upper Nuimi, Dasilami in Jokadou, Saaba in Lower Baddibu, Sara Kunda of Sabach Sanjal in the North Bank Region, Tento Malick Bah in Upper Saloum, Jarumeh Koto in Sami, Niani Sukuta in Niani, Boiram in Lower Fulladu West and Sotokoi in Niamina East.
Speaking, Ansumana Cessay, senior program officer of NCCE, said the outreach was aimed at consolidating peace throughout the election cycle through dialoguing with citizens on ways to ensure and promote peace.
He noted that the programme was timely as the country prepares for December 4th presidential election. The issues discussed include principles of democratic governance, citizens participation, equality and non discrimination, basic rights and freedom, civil rights and duties of citizens in a democracy, political tolerance, reconciliation and peace building.
“In all the meetings, NCCE officials encouraged and thoroughly explained the importance of citizens’ participation responsibility in promoting democratic governance and the rule of law. The dialogue has strengthened public awareness and understanding on democracy, enhanced political tolerance, respect for rule of law among others. The youths are reminded to be law-abiding and desist from taking the law into their hands. The dialogue made extensive discussions on political tolerance and reconciliation with the ultimate objective of enhancing social cohesion, peace and stability,” he stated.
Modou Ida Bah, alkalo of Pakau Njogu, Babucarr Boye of Boiram, Kebba Kamu Fofana of Jokadou Dasilami, Bakary Camara of Sara Kunda and Babucarr Beyai of Niamina Sotokoi all called on all their people, particularly citizens of The Gambia, to support peace building and enhance democratic governance. These traditional leaders thanked NCCE for its tireless efforts in raising public awareness through civic education.
Participants in most of the meetings noted that this kind of engagement is fundamental in bridging information gaps, and therefore appealed to NCCE and partners for the conduct of regular and continuous meetings across the country. The turnouts in the meetings were good and participation levels considerably high.