By Mustapha Jallow
Officials from the National Council for Civic Education (NCCE), have challenged communities to fight against corruption by holding their elected representatives accountable.
The NCCE, Thursday 3rd May, carried-out a twelve-day sensitization caravan and radio program across the country, on the Mayoral and Chairperson’s Election. The topic for the campaign caravan was transparency, accountability and citizen’s participation.
Speaking at public gatherings in Brikama, Bwiam and other towns and villages in the regions, Mr. Ansumana Yarbou told communities that they were out to educate Gambians on the importance of Local Government Elections. He remarked, ‘‘The reason behind this sensitization is as a result of the low turn-out of voters for Councillors. Only 35% of the electorate went to the polls”.
He said citizens should be ready to hold their Councillors accountable if there are no developments in their wards. He advised them not to stop at casting their votes but to hold their representatives accountable. ‘‘The Mayors or Chairpersons have a responsibility to play to make your Councillors comply with the Local Government Act,’’ he said.
In order to consolidate the democratic process in the Gambia, Mr. Yarbou call on the people to come out in their numbers and vote for their choice of Candidate; that elections is the beauty of exercising one’s democratic right. ‘‘The Council election is your life. So come out and vote because the 60% collected from you, should come back to you for development,’’ NCCE urged.
Mr. Yusupha Bojang, Senior Programme Officer of NCCE, said this was a continuation of their engagement with the public on civic and voter education in the run-up to the Council election.
‘‘The activity is to sensitize the general public on the importance of the Local Government Elections and the roles of the Mayor / Chairperson as head of Councils, the promotion of political awareness and tolerance, and the encouragement of the people to massively participate in elections, is the responsibility of the NCCE,’’ he said. He concluded that their activities will target people in all major towns and villages across the country.