National Council for Civil Education (NCCE) last Friday continued their ongoing
dialogue forum with stakeholders from various communities in West Coast Region
on land, environment and natural resources matters at Brikama.
The theme for the forum was: Promoting dialogue and adherence to the rule of law to sustain peace.The forum also enhanced awareness of rights and responsibilities and how to seek redress when one’s right is allege to be violated.
Alhagie Sering Fye, NCCE chairman said Gambia’s peace that had earned the country the admiration of many is now being continually threatened and appealed to people to join efforts in nurturing the peaceful coexistence the country is known for.
He pointed out that the country belongs to all Gambians irrespective of their affiliation and called on people to learn to respect one another, respect authority and understand their respective mandates.
He emphasized that democracy is not a system that gives people whatever they demand at a given moment, or in the shortest possible time, but one that calls for respect for the rule of law at all time.
Mr. Fye said when a person is aggrieve to the extent that he cannot compromise, there are several mechanisms he could utilize to peacefully access justice without getting to conflict.
Governor Bakary K. Sanyang observed that since the coming of the ‘New Gambia’ there is a rise in conflict and demonstration with some unfortunate and tragic consequences as happened recently in Faraba Banta, most of which are caused by land or environment disputes.
Governor Sanyang called for the maintenance of stability and peaceful coexistence the country is known for, adding that both central government and its agencies and local authorities have important roles to play not only within but across to other stakeholders.
He called on Alkalolu to take the lead in settling land disputes between families and communities, saying one quality a good Alkalo should possess is knowledge in customs, traditions, culture and customary law of the village he is heading.
He expressed his readiness to continue working with Seyfolu in supporting Alkalolu to promote and maintain peace in their respective localities. “Government recognizes the need for every citizen to exercise their rights without infringing on the right of others.”
Interior Minister Ebrima Mballow said to restore trust and confidence in citizens within communities and between communities and the Government, there must be dialogue.
He said it is incumbent on all citizens to be law abiding and to refrain from any form of violence, while urging all Gambians to follow due process of the law, to be conscious of one another’s’ rights and to have trust and confidence in the authority.
Chief of Kombo North Momodou Bojang urged all Alkalolu to be vigilant and to be peacemakers.