minister of Youths and Sports, has renewed calls for political parties to
maintain peace during and after elections.
Minister Henry Gomez also urged his friends in the field of politics to join in the discourse to ensure violence free election process.
He was speaking at the political dialogue forum organised by the National Youth Council on the theme “Sustaining Democracy: Preserving Peace for National Development”.
The dialogue was held over the weekend at the Kairaba Hotel, bringing together some 150 youths from different political parties.
“You should not allow to be used by fools to perpetuate violence amongst yourselves in the name of politics; if you allow that, note that those political leaders would all be comfortably sitting in their homes, drinking ‘attaya’ with their families,” he told the gathering.
Gomez described the event as symbolic in the Gambian political history, saying it has succeeded in bringing together youths of different political parties to converse interactively to make a political ecosystem; a habitat conducive for living by all; irrespective of their political affiliations.
“I task you the youth to ensure a conflict-free environment before; during and after the much anticipated, most competitive local government elections in the history of this country.” he told them, as part of his “Mobay Yabalu” (local parlance, meaning live and let’s live).
The chairman of National Youth Council, Dembo Kambi, expressed his council’s delight at hosting the national youth gathering, saying the day is an evidently indicative that the youths are the backbone and the hope of the country towards sustainable national development.
Mr. Kambi stressed that the young people are the only mechanism to make this country a safe heaven. The peace and tranquility of the nation is dear to the heart of his council and the entire folk.
Mr. Kambi called on the government and the private sector operators to support the youths in the crusade. Party leaders lead these youths who are part of the country they are today leading. “You are their role models and they look up to you so help them in realising their dreams,” Mr. Kambi noted.
Yusupha Bojang, who delivered the keynote statement on behalf of chairman of the National Civic Center for Education (NCCE), described the even as apt and timely considering the political trends and happenings in the country.
“The Gambia is best known for its peaceful co-existence within the sub-region; political difference that threatens the peaceful atmosphere may elude us if measures are not cautiously taken to preserve it,” he stated.
The chairman, Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) Alieu Mamarr Njai spoke about the significance of the local government elections and urges the population to make their voice heard by turning out in their large numbers to come and vote for their party candidates. “Your vote counts a lot as it will be counted in the direction and the manners in which this nation is to be governed. Your vote is your voice.” Mr. Njai said.