The recent clashes between people on the basis of political affiliation indicate very clearly that more work of civic education needs to be done to promote more civility among the Gambian electorate and supporters of political parties.
Nomination for council elections is just two months away. The political temperature is rising. The Mankamang Kunda incident was followed by a press release from the presidency calling for political tolerance and national unity. However, the incident at Busumbala did not show that some people are heeding that call. Information coming from that end as the APRC convoy passed Busumbala confirms confrontation leading to brandishing of cutlasses and knives. This editor had to counsel a young man brandishing a cutlass to understand the implication of bloodshed and the wisdom of allowing the security forces to do their work of maintaining law and order; peace and tranquility. They were told to avoid confronting the security forces who are likely to come to keep the adversaries apart and disperse them. The Inter-Party Committee and the National Council for Civic Education should now collaborate to promote the Code of Conduct embraced by the political parties to ensure peaceful political co-existence.
The National Council for Civic Education should now be empowered with the resources it needs to carry out its duties. It has claimed that it has always been starved of funds. The National Assembly should come to its rescue so that it can get the funds required.
The battle for political sanity has begun. The nation must not be allowed to fall in the hands of those who are yet to commit themselves to democratic and republican values of unifying and leading a nation of civilised, free and sovereign citizens.