By Cherno Omar Bobb
The National Council for Civic Education (NCCE) on Tuesday concluded a two-day regional interface dialogue between security forces, youths and relevant stakeholders at NaNA conference hall on Bertil Harding highway.
The interface dialogue was organised in collaboration with the National Youth Council (NYC) and funded by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) through the UN Peacebuilding Fund.
The theme was “building cordial relations among stakeholders to preserve national peace and security, post-2021 presidential elections.”
Similar engagements were held in Basse, Janjanbureh, Kuntaur, Mansakonko, Kerewan, Brikama and Banjul.
Yusupha Bojang, Programmes Manager at NCCE, speaking at the opening, said people were concerned about what will happen during the December 4th presidential elections but they brought stakeholders together responsible for ensuring peace and it paid dividends.
He added that we were able to sail through the elections peacefully.
Mr Bojang further said that everyone has a right to celebrate but everyone also has the right to the contrary but noted that whatever happens “we urge people to follow the due process.”
He urged participants to come up with ideas that will better improve The Gambia.
“We expect you to help us maintain peace in the country as we journey to another important election (parliamentary elections),” he told participants, adding: “if we create deep wounds in this post-presidential elections we may not be able to heal them as we get to the parliamentary elections which may create problems.”
Hon. Essa Sanneh, regional speaker for the National Youth Parliament, Kanifing Municipal branch described peace as priceless, adding that it is important to have all stakeholders onboard in maintaining peace and stability in the country.
He stated that young people have the potential to promote peace but added that if things go wrong young people are likely to suffer more.
He noted that young people are advocating for a lot in the country but they will not materialize in the absence of peace. He said therefore we must always advocate for peace. He also urged youth-led organisations to come together and foster peace which is the foundation for development.
Captain Dodou S. Jarju from Fajara Barracks said people should never see security agents as law enforcers because they are law managers.
He said whenever there is law enforcement peace is at stake which is why they are law managers.
He further said that we might belong to different political affiliations but are all from the same family and as such should always promote and maintain peace.
He highlighted that it is supposed to be everyone’s duty to preach and promote peace in our homes, communities and country.
Captain Jarju said as security agents they will do everything humanly possible to protect the constitution. “No security will wish to inflict pain or harm on its citizens,” he remarked.