#Editorial

Promoting tolerance in New Gambia!

Jul 6, 2021, 12:12 PM

Freedom of expression will continue to remain under siege unless all groups accept that people can have divergent views and opinions in any a democratic country. It must be noted that democratic societies are built on the concept of political tolerance.

An intolerant society cannot tolerate expression of ideas and views which may pose a serious threat to democracy.

The Gambia is a country of rich culture and traditions. And as vast tradition and rich cultures teaches us tolerance; our philosophy preaches tolerance and even our constitution practises tolerance. Therefore, let’s embrace tolerance as it is the only way to a prosperous country.

It is in the news that National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has raised concerns about the recent “deteriorating and polarizing political climate preceding the December 2021 Presidential elections.

In a strong worded release, NHRC condemned in strongest terms the recent attack on a United Democratic Party (UDP) voter registration monitoring team by a group of people at Kanilai; the birthplace of former President Yahya Jammeh and also the violence which took place at Manduar.

Pictures from both scenes recently were making rounds on social media. However, these unfortunate incidences go to show the level of democracy and lack of maturity among some section of Gambians.

These attacks, under any circumstances are reprehensible and illegal and pose threat to country’s young democracy. As we heads to the December Presidential elections, let’s manifest highest degree of political maturity and shun all vices that have the tendency to disturb our fragile democracy.

Even major faiths are against such sentiments; as it has the potentials to incite upheaval or violence. It is therefore, an assault to every tenet of democracy and political pluralism The Gambia promotes as a nation.

The Gambia is a country renowned for its tolerance and openness to even foreigners visiting our shores. And the fact that the country is sometimes referred to as the ‘Smiling Coast of Africa’ is not just for a mere fantasy. The Gambia earned this title for a genuine reason; it has been proven that Gambian smile is always a genuine one.

Let’s make it clear here that no individual, community or group has the right to deny right to political association or restrict free movement of people within the country, fundamental human rights guaranteed by the 1997 Constitution and other international legal instruments that The Gambia is a party to.

Let’s bear in mind that it is only under a climate of tranquility, tolerance and rule of law that a peaceful Presidential election can be conducted.

For The Gambia Our homeland, to The Gambia Ever True!

"Acceptance and tolerance and forgiveness, those are life altering lessons."

Jessica Lange

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