Council for Civic Education (NCCE) last Saturday commenced a massive
sensitization outreach in the Central River Region- North and North Bank Region
communities on democracy.
The activity was part of the institution’s ongoing awareness campaign efforts to enhance citizens’ civic consciousness for effective participation in politics, governance and development process of the country.
Programme manager Yusupha Bojang said the activity targets to sensitize the public about democracy, tolerance and respect for diversity, saying that the exercise will help to improve awareness about rights and responsibilities of citizens on democracy as well as promote tolerance, reconciliation and peaceful coexistence within communities, to ensure a stable and peaceful Gambia as envisaged in the National Development Plan (NDP).
Addressing the community of Raneru Wollof in CRR-North, senior civic education officer Ansumana Yarbou said democracy has been in existence in the country since the first republic but actions showed that most of the people do not fully understand it.
He said if citizens do not know their responsibilities it might bring conflict but said, citizens must put aside their political differences and work with the government for the development of the nation. “Let us put the nation first and work towards development. With unity we can achieve anything,” he said.
He said leaders comes and go but citizens will continue to live together, with the peace and stability Gambians are enjoying they should not allow any evil to have space between them. “I appeal to people to use social media wisely and avoid witch-hunting and giving bad image about the country.”
Mr. Yarbou also called on citizens to do away with tribalism and have political tolerance which will enable them to hold authorises accountable, saying by the Local Government Act, Area Councils are meant to bring back sixty percent of tax paid to citizens in the form of development.
Ismiala Sinyan, a native of Raneru Wollof said, since the establishment of their village they have not benefited from any Area Council development, pointing out that development does not have to be one-sided hence they all voted.
At Tabanani village, the community’s Alkalo Jarga Jagne said his community only benefited from two wells during the first republic and has since been forgotten by authorizes.
Lamin Kongira of Kunting said several pregnant women and patients have died on their way to health facilities due to poor road conditions and called on the authorities help them.
Mustapha Jabbi, also a native a Kunting said, it is time for citizens to wake up and demand their rights because they regularly pays their taxes but do not know how or where their monies are spent.