This comes after a hectic thorough week of nominations to scrutinise and vet documents of those aspiring to participate in the contest.
Last Saturday, having fulfilled all the requirements as a candidate, the electoral body endorsed the candidature of 6 presidential aspirants including one independent candidate, out of the 26 aspirant candidates, who filed in their papers.
As candidates start the official campaign proper, it is incumbent on all to be wary of hate speech and bigotry remarks at all times.
With a surge in hate speech and bigotry, there is a need for all political stakeholders to promote peaceful messages during and after the election process.
We once again reiterate here the need for all political parties to avoid hate speeches and use of defamatory languages in these campaigns.
Political parties should always see the country first and then all other things are secondary. We can campaign peacefully without resorting to violence.
Around the globe, The Gambia has been renowned for political tolerance.
Suffice it to state here that Gambian voters started voting in the multiparty system in 1947. This goes to show how far we have come in tolerating each other’s views.
As elections start, parties will be criss-crossing the entire length and breadth of the country. And during this period, rival parties in one or the other will cross paths.
Let all party militants in these rival camps exercise maturity and peaceful coexistence should in case such a meeting occurred.
Political stakeholders should campaign as means of peaceful interaction and entertainment, thus selling their different political ideology or views
What the players on both sides often forget is that the country is bigger than they are. We owe it to Gambia’s future to keep and maintain peace during and after the campaigns.
The Gambia will still be here the day after the vote, so let’s behave and campaign responsibly.
Most criminals hide behind the election period to create and incite violence in the minds and hearts of citizens. We should learn as lessons from our African brothers, who nearly witnessed full-fledged war due to election violence. A case in point is Kenya and Zimbabwe.
Let’s avoid hate speck and bigotry remarks, as it is a threat to any thriving democracy.
To all the party militants, democracy should be seen as a means of ensuring peace, stability and prosperity. However, it is said to note that it is only in Africa where elections have tended to become a recipe for turmoil.
Let’s make sure the image the country has been renowned for is safeguarded. The Smiling Coast of Africa that the country has been widely referred to, is uttered for a reason.
It is only in the Smiling Coast where even foreign nationals are welcomed to our houses and we share the same plate or basin of food. Let’s maintain their track record for our motherland-The Gambia!
For The Gambia Our Homeland, to The Gambia Ever True!
“Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide.”