By Olimatou Coker
National Council for Civic Education (NCCE) on Tuesday concluded the first phase of this year’s civil dialogue on democracy, rule of law and peacebuilding.
The current outreach covers twenty-four (24) communities in the Central River Region, Lower River Region and North Bank Region.
Yusupha Bojang, Programme Manager, NCCE, said the engagements are aimed at lessening the current political tensions marred by misconceptions and misrepresentations of democracy resulting in disregard for the rule of law. Slander, provocations and antagonism, has the potential to cause chaos in the country if not addressed head-on.
He said that a similar activity was done in November, 2019 in the URR and due to its success and significance in their present realities, they deemed it prudent to scale it up to cover other regions.
He added that this will greatly enhance citizens’ understanding and appreciation of the Constitution as the supreme law of the country as well as improve understanding of democratic governance and embrace peace building initiatives as enshrined in the National Development Plan.
Ansumana Ceesay, senior programme officer at the National Council for Civic Education (NCCE) has described the current tribal tensions in the country as the biggest “threat to our peace and stability”.
He added that religious and political tensions are also major threats to our national security, saying they need to be addressed immediately which his office is doing.
“We are all equal in the eyes of the law, so I therefore urge you all to respect each other as we are all Gambians”.
He highlighted that politics comes and goes but as citizens we live together forever and therefore should not allow politics to divide us.
Junkung Saidy, senior civic education officer at NCCE described elections as the lifeblood of democracy, noting that it is citizens’ duty to hold authorities accountable.
Saidy however, said that development can only take place when there is peace, adding that it is citizens’ duty to participate in the development of a nation.
Ansumana Yabo, a senior civic education officer at NCCE called on citizens to nurture the peace and stability we are known for as a country.
According to him, there cannot be peace if citizens do not respect the law, saying if we abuse the law it results in violence.
He urged citizens to put the country first and work towards its development.
Jason Sanyang, civic education officer, NCCE, urged citizens to screen politicians first before voting for them.
“Leave politics if you do not find any advancement in it,” he advised.
Baba Sanneh, a native of Jasobo, said all politicians campaign behind “youth empowerment” but once they are elected they forget about the youths.
Ebrima Colley, a native of Jasobo village said they have been paying taxes since the inception of the village but have never benefited from any form of development from government, their area council or any authority.
Bakary Sanneh commended NCCE for their noble work in sensitizing the Gambian people.
He called on GSM companies to regularize their operations by registering all phone numbers to ensure anyone who abuses another person is tracked.