By Mama A. Touray
Office of the press at the state house through the government of the Gambia last week organised a day-long forum on the theme “Democracy a Recipe for Peace and Democracy” held at the International Conference Centre in Bijilo.
Speaking at the forum, Hon.Dawda Jallow Attorney General and Minister of Justice on behalf of the president described the forum as timely and relevant to the challenges we are facing as a nation while acknowledging the role that democracy has and continues to play in our nation-building process.
“Democracy promotes peace and development in several ways, democracy allows citizens to hold their leaders accountable for their actions which in turn fosters a culture of transparency, and reduces corruption leading to more effective and efficient use of public resources thereby promoting development” he highlighted
He added that democracy is built on rule of law which provides a framework for protecting human rights, justice, and inequalities, resolving disputes in peaceful manners, and ensuring that people can live in peace and security free from violence and curse.
For his part, the President of the Supreme Islamic Council, Essa Drammeh talked about the Islamic perspective in developing a nation which he said can only be achieved by helping one another.
“To develop as a nation, we have to support each other. We cannot develop when we have more than fifty percent hungry while just forty percent are living a luxurious life that is not developed on the aspect of Islam,”
He continued: “We at the Supreme Islamic Council want when applying our democratic values we should not forget the religion while we are talking or campaigning. We should always remember that as Muslims whatever you say you are accounted for before the lord therefore, we should always include our Islamic principle in our democratic processes and functions.”
He added that as Gambia celebrates its fifty-eight independence, Gambians should note that it is the duty of all citizens including the government, organisations, and individuals to support in the maintenance of peace and security in the country which is the ultimate goal for democracy.
Meanwhile, Most Rev. Bannie Manga of the Gambia Christian Council, in his reflection said “For us Gambians, democracy is about responsibility, all holy books we subscribed to in this nation tell us that all forms of authority should and must be derived from the lord. In that context, if we going to suggest that we should uphold democracy then I want to suggest that democracy is the grace offered to humanity to participate with God to sharpen care and uphold the boundaries, dignity, and possibilities associated with humanity”