By Mustapha Jallow
As Gambians prepare for yet another Local Government Elections to elect Councillors on April 15th and Chairpersons/Mayors on the 20th of May 2023, the National Council for Civic Education (NCCE) last week, commenced a mass and intensive civic and voter education campaign ahead of these Election.
Speaking at the opening ceremony of this awareness campaign in Kanapeh village in Wuli East in the Upper River Region, Ansumana Ceesay, Senior Programme Officer (SPO) highlighted the main objective of the campaign, and how it will enhance political consciousness and promote tolerance as well as increase public awareness on their civic rights and duties in a democracy. He said the campaign will as well enlighten the public on the importance and roles of local governments, and spur popular participation and increase voter turnout in the upcoming elections.
“Our messages focus on the principles of democracy; the importance of voting and holding elections; political rights of the people; the importance of councils and role/functions of Councillors and Chairpersons/Mayors; qualifications and disqualification for membership of local councils; the important dates in this electoral calendar; campaign ethics and the code of conduct for election and political tolerance,” Ceesay explained.
According to him, the activity which is part of several outreach interventions that the NCCE will conduct ahead of the Local Government Elections, is expected to last for ten days, and will cover forty communities in the Central River (CRR) and Upper River Regions (URR).
Meanwhile, participants at the various community sensitization engagements commended the NCCE for the initiatives and timely intervention, noting that this will not only equip them with the requisite information for effective participation in the upcoming Local Government elections, but it will most importantly help them to be critical and be able to make informed choices in a peaceful and stable manner.