By Mustapha Jallow
Ansumana Ceesay, Senior Program Officer for the National Council for Civic Education (NCCE), on Friday urged village Alkalolou and local groups in Pakalinding in Jarra West to be law-abiding and put an end to social media abuses.
The local groups included Village Development Committees (VDC), Ward Development Committees (WDCs), Mothers Clubs etc.
“I wish to remind all to be law-abiding and desist from the abuse of social media as well as not to allow themselves to be used as political tools to cause harm, but instead be good role models and agents of peace in your respective communities, especially in this crucial moment as we move to the December polls (2021 elections),” he said.
Ceesay made these remarks while delivering his speech at Pakalinding in Lower River Region (LRR), during a training of community structures on civic education and participation in decision-making at the grassroots on 1st October 2021.
Organised by NCCE with support from United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) through the United Nations Peace-Building Fund (UNPBF), the event was held under the topic, “To empower community structures, provide the foundation for efficient grassroots governance and sustainable development.”
Ceesay further reminded village Alkalolou and local groups that they are non-political structures, while advising them that if they want to sustain and ensure good governance within their various structures they should not bring politics into their work. He also said that the election will be a pivotal moment to consolidate and cement the democratic trajectory of The Gambia, saying it comes at a time when the country is deeply polarised.
“There is a rising tide of ethnic and religious-based hate rhetoric on the airwaves and social media. This poses the risk of creating social and political instability that can derail the progress of the country and cause chaos,” he said. “Being in a transition and considering the fact that we are in an electioneering period, makes it even more crucial to continue to have constant and continuous civic education to increase civic awareness, mass and inclusive participation in both politics and governance, as well as the maintenance of peace.”