By Kebba Jeffang

Mr. Ansumana Yabo, senior civic educationist at the National Council for Civic Education on Sunday, 12th March advised the communities in Foni to be careful and wise when voting for candidates because their role is critical and the hallmark should be competence.

He said those to be voted for must be qualified persons because parliamentarians are the directors and advisers of the government.

Mr. Yabo also warned the communities to avoid tribal conflict. He said Gambians are the same people and that value should be promoted. He said the country’s election cycle includes the Presidential, National Assembly and the Local Government elections. He noted that it is prudent for them to enlighten the public on the NA election because that is imminent. He said the National Assembly election is important because it gives the green light or stop the executive from entering certain agreements, loans or grants for the development of the country.

“It is a powerful institution as it can remove the President from office when due process is taken through impeachment. To fill the National Assembly with unqualified people is a disaster and it is the voters who can avoid that. Although, section 89 of the Constitution spells out the qualification of National Assembly contestants but people should take further measures to vote for the competent persons,” said Yabo.

He called on people to go out and vote on the 6th April and decide who should be their representative at the assembly.  He urged people to vote for the person they want, adding that anyone who fails to vote has betrayed the nation.

“When voting, please let us not consider our family relationship, ethnicity and friendship, vote for the competent person. Gambia is less than 2000 settlements yet we cannot have development simply because of poor composition of National Assembly. This Assembly discusses loans, grants, laws and international agreements and incompetent people cannot understand this. Therefore, if you fill the National Assembly with incompetent people, you are telling the government to live a flamboyant life because they will not have directors and advisors in parliament.” emphasized Yabo.

The Civic educationist asked people to be peace builders during the NA election campaign slated for 15th March to 4th April. He said the value of The Gambia is peace and all campaigners must nurture this value to maintain stability. He said as Gambians, all the people are the same and tribal rhetoric must be avoided. He said freedom of speech is guaranteed and supporters can paste their candidates’ posters on their walls, vehicles as well as flags but it is illegal to insult or use abusive language which can set the country on flames.

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