The officials at the National Council for Civic Education (NCCE) have urged the communities of Dobong Kunda and Bantanto all in the Central River Region South not to exercise their rights to the detriment of others.
Ansumana Yarboe and Kebba Jobe gave this advice recently to the two communities during the commencement of a 12-day sensitization on “Democracy and Rule of Law.”
According to Yarboe and Jobe, every citizen’s view has a right to be expressed and listened to; differences are naturally likely to occur while the duo also reminded CRR South communities that democracy relies upon open discussions, debate, pursuance and compromise.
When such diversity occurs the duo went on, violence and misunderstanding between the citizenry will be the thing of the past thus stressing that the virtue of democracy is tolerance.
They urged the two communities to learn to be tolerant of each other and live as brothers and sisters at all times rather than being antagonist. They described democracy as a system that calls for respect for the rule of law.
“When one is aggressive to the extent that he/she cannot compromise, there are several mechanisms to utilize to go through justice without resorting into conflict of any form,” they stressed.
They informed the communities about the two different types of justice system in The Gambia namely; Sharia and common law adding that all these justice systems are fully recognized in the country.
They said: “Each of the justice system mentioned above can be utilized to seek redress at the said justice system; therefore no situation should warrant anyone to take the law into their own hands when there are enough avenues for remedy”.
The duo urged the communities to learn to respect each other, respect the authorities and understand their respective mandate while they also stressed that those rights go with corresponding responsibilities.
Where one’s right ends, they informed, another one’s right begins. They advised that people should not exercise their rights to the detriment of others because as responsible citizens, they should know that the exercise and enjoyment of rights and freedoms are inseparable.
The duo explained the mandate of the NCCE which he said is an institution set-up to enlighten the citizens on their civic rights and duties, to cultivate an environment of democratic continuity.
NCCE officials informed the two communities about the basic principles of democracy like; equality, citizen participation, pluralism and compromise, political tolerance, guaranteeing basic freedom, open and accountable government and rule of law.
All those who spoke during the sensitization expressed their appreciation to the NCCE for enlightening them about their civic rights and duties as bonafide citizens of The Gambia