Ansumana Ceesay was speaking at the recent nine-day community outreach aimed at consolidating peace throughout the election cycle through dialoguing with citizens on ways to ensure and promote peace sustainability.
The outreach organised by the National Council on Civic Education (NCCE) with support from ECOWAS, was held on the theme “Consolidating Peace, Democracy and Good Governance in The Gambia” was held in communities. The community engagement, which was centred on dialogue on peace building, political pluralism and tolerance, covered key settlements such as; Pakau Njogu in Upper Nuimi, Dasilami in Jokadou, Saaba in Lower Badibou, Sara Kunda of Sabach Sanjal in the North Bank region, Tento Malick Bah in Upper Saloum, Jarumeh Koto in Sami, Niani Sukuta in Niani, Boiram in Lower Fulladu West and Sotokoi in Niamina East.
Speaking at these venues, Ceesay described the forum as ‘important and timely’ as the country heads to the December 2021 general elections.
“The issues discussed include principles of democratic governance, citizen’s participation, equality and non- discrimination, basic rights and freedom, civil rights and duties of citizens in a democracy, political tolerance, reconciliation and peace building.”
In all the meetings, he encouraged and thoroughly explained the importance of citizens’ participation, responsibility in promoting democratic governance and the rule of law, saying the dialogue has strengthened public awareness and understanding of democracy, enhanced political tolerance, respect for rule of law among others.
He also reminded the youths to be law abiding and desist from taking the law into their hands.
“The dialogue made extensive discussions on political tolerance and reconciliation with the ultimate objective of enhancing social cohesion, peace and stability.”
Alkalolu Modou Ida Bah of Pakau Njogu , Babucarr Boye of Boiram, Kebba Kamu Fofana of Jokadou Dasilami , Bakary Camara of Sara Kunda and Babucarr Beyai of Niamina Sotokoi all took turns to call on all people, particularly citizens of The Gambia to support peace building and enhance democratic governance.
These traditional leaders thanked NCCE for its tireless efforts at raising public awareness through civic education.
Participants in most of the meetings hailed the community outreach spearheaded by NCCE as it is fundamental in bridging information gaps.
They, however, appealed to NCCE and partners for the conduct of regular and continuous dialogue meetings of that kind across the country. The turnouts in the meeting were good and participation levels considerably high.