NCCE, TANGO “Democracy Project” reaches NBR, LRR

Monday, July 08, 2019

National Council for Civic Education (NCCE) and The Association of Non-Governmental Organisations (TANGO) joint sensitisation campaign on democracy, good governance, human rights and rule of law has reached the North Bank and Lower River Regions.

The sensitisation campaign is part of activities of a two year project call: Strengthening human rights and good governance in the Gambia, also call the ‘Democracy Project’ which was funded by the United Nations Democracy Fund (UNDEF).

The first segment of the community sensitisation campaign was held in Panchang, Upper Saloum in Central River Region-North, where the project was launched. Meetings were also held in URR.

The first phase of the campaign runs from the 18th June to 18th July, 2019, across the country.

Speaking at Essau last Wednesday, NCCE programme manager Yusupha Bojang said the overall objective of the project is to enhance citizens’ awareness and understanding on democracy, rule of law, and civic rights and duties and promote political pluralism, tolerance and peaceful coexistence within communities.

Mr. Bojang pointed out that it is evident that The Gambia has suffered a lot from the past two decades, saying there were severe abuse of human rights, lack of democracy and poor governance, which necessitated them to initiate the project. “It is evident that there are lot of misunderstanding and misrepresentation of what democracy is and people tend to abuse democracy,” he said.

He said democracy guarantees rights but there are no absolute rights, saying rights go with responsibility which people should handle seriously. “People have to respect others the way they would want others to respect them, to ensure that we live together in peace. There is lot of tension and division in communities as a result of politics,” he said.

Ansumana Yabou, a civic education officer at NCCE said democracy cannot be fully functional if citizens do not join hands and work together, highlighting that lack of awareness have contributed to the slow development of the nation.

He said knowledge is the key to development and the key to running the world, saying that if citizens do not hold authorities accountable, they will end up regretting. “All citizens should be equal in the eyes of the law and development should also be decentralized.”

Author: Cherno Omar Bobb