As part of their constitutional mandate of educating the citizenry about their democratic rights, the National Council for Civic Education (NCCE) in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) recently convened series of open forums locally known as ‘Bantaba’ for communities in CRR north.
At a forum held in Sami, Yusupha Bojang, programme officer at NCCE, informed the communities that the NCCE aims at engaging, educating and deepening the understanding of citizens on their civic rights. He said it also empowers Gambians to actively participate in governance process, thus the main reason they invite journalists in their forums is to disseminate vital information to all citizens.
The NCCE programme officer underscored the crucial role media play in informing the citizens on issues affecting them especially political and development issues.
Politics he went on, is not about violence or using words that would cause chaos in the country, adding that nobody should allow politics to bring division amongst people.
“We elect people into power to serve us but not to serve themselves and their families; and whoever we think did not serve our purpose he/she was elected for, it is our right to remove him/her through constitutional means,” Bojang stated.
Kebba O. Jobe, civic education officer at NCCE, called on the people of Sami to be mindful of people who always want to divide them based on their own political interest.
He reminded them that it is their civic duty as citizens to give their support to any political party of their choice without any threat put on them.
“Change your attitude towards elections because all elections are important; whether it is presidential, National Assembly or councillorship elections,” he stated.
Jobe thus urged women within Sami community to send their girl-child to school if they want more female representation at the decision making level.
The Alkalo of Karantaba Wollof, Omar Sallah; Musa Cham and Alieu Ceesay, all from Lanirou village, expressed gratitude to NCCE for sensitising them about their civic rights.
Similar open ‘bantabas’ were held in Jarumeh Koto, Barajally Suba, Sukuta, Kuntaur Wharf Town, Dingirai, Chamen, Sare Alpha, Niorro Buba, Njaw Sawalo, Bati Jamagen, Panchang Wharf town, Njaw Sikunda, Kaur Touray Kunda, Balanghar Kerr Nderry, Balanghar Hoi and Kerr Maila.
by Lamin B. Darboe