By Kebba Jeffang
The National Council for Civic Education’s (NCCE) senior official, Ansumana Yabou, told communities in Foni that democracy is a system that reduces political uncertainty and instability because everyone is involved in the process of governance.
The civic awareness team is currently on a 10-day nation-wide tour to sensitise the populace about the actual concept of democracy because it is observed that many have been abusing this in the new-dispensation.
Yabou and his colleagues visited the communities of Batabut Kantora, Batabut Danelu, Kaimo Karanai, Sitta and Kaiyinka in Foni, West Coast Region.
Speaking over the weekend at Foni-Bintang Karanai and Berefet respectively, he said democracy entails twin principles which are popular control over collective decision-making and equity of rights in the exercise of that control.
“Democracy rests on a balance of giving enough power for vigorous and energetic government and avoid giving out so much power that it becomes abused,” he said.
He said democracy creates a system where the public can remove administrations without changing the legal basis for government.
“Therefore, democracy aims at reducing political uncertainty and instability and assures the citizens that however much they may disagree with present policies, they will be given the regular chance to change those who are in power or change the policies that they disagree with,” he said.
The senior Civic Educationist informed the communities about the existence of different types of democracy which are direct democracy, representative democracy and principled democracy.
Additionally, he valued Local Government Elections which always attracts low turnout. He said the importance of local government elections cannot be over-emphasised and urged the audience to vote for someone who can represent them well at such levels. Yabou advised the youth in the area to acquire voter’s cards if they want to have a say in nation building. He urged citizens of the country to be responsible and stay away from tribal conflicts.
‘‘Democracy goes with law and it does not mean insulting people. As Gambians we should not involve ourselves in anything that would tarnish the good image of the country,’ he appealed.
Meanwhile, Sambou Jarjue, a native of Sitta village, urged government to sensitize Gambians on the importance of maintaining peace in the country.
‘‘In Foni Karanai District some people’s farm lands were taken from them this year because of their political affiliation which for me should not have happened,’’ Jarjue informed the NCCE team.
The Alkalo of Sitta village, Yankuba Jarjue said tribalism will never take any country forward. He called on the people of his area to accept the will of Allah the Almighty.
He described politics as a joke between sympathizers of various political parties adding that it is not about whispering bad words or building hatred against each other.
The NCCE has launched democracy sensitisation in Kombo South communities before reaching Foni. The team continues to other parts of the country to sensitise the public on the context of this widely practised system of governance.