By Mustapha Jallow
In the fourth phase of their countrywide sensitisation on civic education, the National Council for Civic Education (NCCE), has urged local communities in Upper Fulladu West District of the CRR, not to abuse the beauty of democracy.
The outreach campaign is meant to address some of the misconceptions about democracy within the communities and promote peaceful coexistence among the populace.
Speaking at the opening in Sare Soffie in Upper Fulladu West on 21stDecember 2017, senior NCCE officials informed the communities about their work and the meaning of democracy.
According to Mr. Ansumana Yarbou, the importance of civic responsibility is paramount to the success of democracy; that equality within society is enshrined in the characteristics of a democratic state.
He further urged communities to be tolerant and respect the rights, freedoms and legitimate interests of others and refrain from acting in a manner that is or will be detrimental to the welfare of others.
‘‘Gambia doesn’t belong to any political party, ethnic group or religion. No one is above the law and the punishment outlined in the Constitution during the last regime is still present in the same Constitution with the present regime,’’ he said.
He stated that democracy aims to reduce political uncertainty and instability by assuring citizens that however much they may disagree on policy and ideology, they are citizens of the same country. Senior program officer at NCCE Mr. Yusupha Bojang, said the aim of the forum is to sensitize the general public on their civic rights and duties in order for them to be able to actively and effectively participate in the democratization process of the new Gambia; that the activity would help create and sustain awareness of Constitutional democracy that will enable citizens to participate fully in the governance and development process of the country. ‘‘The current activity covers 20 selected communities in the Fulladus and Niaminas,’’ he said.
At the Sare Soffie village forum, the alkalo of the village, Sireh Sey, said knowing ones civic rights is key as a citizen of a country; that if a citizen lacks this awareness, it can put the country in chaos. Momodou Jawo from the same area said political tolerance should be practiced in societies as decisions should be accepted even by those who oppose them. “A person who is short tempered cannot be in Politics because he will always create violence within society,’’ Jawo said.
‘‘People should be mindful of each other as parties come and go, but Gambia will remain as one and ours for that matter,’’ he said.
Foday Janko also a native of Sare Soffie, thanked the NCCE for their work saying the country needs such institutions. He called on the Government of President Adama Barrow to empower NCCE in order for them to carry-out their work effectively.
‘‘Your sensitization gave dividend to the past presidential and National Assembly elections. This is why we had a change of government in 2016,’’ the people of Upper Fulladou informed NCCE officials.’’
Similar message were delivered in Cha-Kunda.