‘Councilors should ensure citizens benefit from taxes they pay’

Monday, March 12, 2018

Junkung Saidy, senior civic education officer at the National Council for Civic Education (NCCE) has said that it is the councilor’s role to ensure that citizens benefit from the taxes they pay.

He added that they should benefit through provision of basic social services such as water, street lights, markets, feeder roads, support women with labour saving devices such as milling machines, women gardens, support the education of children through scholarship, environmental sanitation among others.

Mr. Saidy made these remarks last Friday at Kunjata village in North Bank Region during the opening of the second phase of a nationwide Community Civic and Voter Education campaign organised by his council ahead of the April Local Government Elections.

The campaign targeting to enlighten citizens on the important roles and functions of mayors/mayoress, chairpersons and councilors in community development will cover 20 communities within North Bank Region.

The sensitisation engagement would also seek to promote unity and political tolerance among citizens, to ensure peace during and after the elections.

Mr. Saidy added that every council shall be the planning authority for its Area, and many plan and implement programmes or projects for the general upliftment of their communities; prepare a comprehensive and uninterrupted development plan for their areas.

He urged voters not to sell their votes, saying by doing so they lose their citizenship, rights as well as royalty and will not achieve what they want.

He described all elections (Presidential, National Assembly and Local Government Elections) as equally important and therefore called on all voters card holders to go out and vote during the April and May elections.

He further called on citizens to do away with tribal politics among others that might create divisions among us, saying elections come and go but we continue to live together as citizens.

Ansumana Yabou, also a senior civic education officer at the National Council for Civic Education speaking at Sinchu Njabo village described elections as the lifeblood of a democracy.

He pointed out that the constitution and the election laws of the country set out how regular elections will be held to ensure that government officials know that they will be held accountable for their actions and decisions and can be removed from office.

According to the senior programme officer, Yusupha Bojang, the activity is part of series of engagements the NCCE is currently having across the country, using diverse means and platforms to reach out to the populace; to sensitise them about the impending Local Government Elections.

Mr. Bojang noted that they want to change people’s perceptions towards this election, because usually many people don’t attach much importance to the lower elections and hence the high voter apathy over the years. This is what NCCE want to change, so that people can understand and appreciate the importance of the Local Governments Elections.

“We believe if people understand the functions of councils, that will motivate them to massively participate in the election, and not participate in voting but be able to elect representatives of their choice based on competence and not any other affiliation.” The importance of promoting unity and political tolerance was also emphasised in these engagements, he said.

Author: Cherno Omar Bobb
Source: Picture: NCCE Chairman, Alh. Sering Faye