Saturday, July 31, 2021

Kartong Resident Tasks Gambians to scrutinize Presidential Aspirants Before Electing Them

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By Mustapha Jallow

A resident of Kartong village has tasked Gambians to scrutinize presidential aspirants before giving them the mantle to lead this country.

Dembo B. Manneh, who was speaking on Saturday during the conclusion of a six-day awareness campaign organized by the National Council for Civic Education (NCCE), said Gambians ought to question the eligibility of people running for the presidency before electing them into office.

“Someone will come from nowhere without any political background neither {did they} develop {their} community and say I want to run for Presidency. What have people benefited from that person, especially his/her community where they hailed,’’ he asked.

NCCE organized the massive awareness campaign in collaboration with The Association of Non-Government Organisations (TANGO) and it was supported by United Nations Democracy Fund (UNDEF) under the topic: “democratic governance, civic rights and duties of a citizens.’’

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Themed “Consolidating good governance and human rights in The Gambia,’’ the awareness campaign was part of NCCE’s effort towards cultivating a safe democratic environment in the country.  

 Speaking further, Manneh stressed that Gambians do not investigate or challenge the eligibility of candidates running for presidential position.

“Why most Gambians do not question or investigate their Presidential candidates,’’ Manneh asked. “So, anyone who wants to participate in presidency should be put under a thorough investigation.’’

Manneh alleged that most of the presidential aspirants do not have their own compounds but rely on taxpayers’ money when they are elected and start building mansions.

He said his call include scrutinizing members of the national assembly, councillors and so on. To him, Gambians should do due diligence about the individuals before giving them their votes, noting that citizens should elect those who put the country first because they will bring development.

However, Manneh described democracy as working together for national development and not insulting one another due to political difference. He said when a country’s development is derailed, it means citizens will suffer.

He advised the youth to participate in national development to have a civilized and violent free democracy.

Mustpaha Bojang, also a resident of Kartong, said leaders should be honest, while urging NCCE to knock on the doors of donors to provide them with funds in order to reach out to Gambians because people really need civic education.

Another speaker, Sulayman Manneh, said Gambians need to wake up from their slumber and start investigating their presidential candidates.

Mustapha Manneh, a resident of Kartong and rights activist, slammed political leaders for caring only about the votes of the people and nothing else. He told the women at the gathering that politicians are after their voters, but not the interest of their community.

Manneh added that when women need support they are ignored by the politicians. He also said in order for The Gambia to progress as a nation, serious civic education is needed.

NCCE Program Manager, Mr Yusupha Bojang, said the objective of their campaign was to raise awareness and understanding of democracy, which entails rights of citizens among others.

Bojang believed that their campaign will contribute immensely to awareness creation among Gambians, saying many people still have misconception about democracy. This, he said was caused by people who do not have enough information about the doctrine.

According to Bonjang, this sometimes results to people castigating each other or using abusive words against one another. He said this prompted them to come up with the awareness campaign initiative and engage their partners to ensure that Gambians are fully educated on issues affecting them.

Aminata Joof, NCCE official, asked the citizens to desist from belittling one another in the name of politics, religion and so on. 

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