Several Gambians have called on both presidential candidates and supporters to maintain peace and stability ahead of the December 4 presidential election to ensure smooth polls.
Recently, there had been controversial personal attacks among presidential candidates particularly the incumbent, President Adama Barrow and his political Godfather, now main challenger lawyer Ousainu Darboe, standard-bearer of the United Democratic Party (UDP).
The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) has recently warned all presidential candidates against personal attacks, inflammatory remarks, defamatory statements and insult while on political platforms.
Subsequently, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) also expressed concern over personal attacks between President Adama Barrow and Lawyer Ousainu Darboe.
However, scores of Gambians have also put across their views regarding the controversial remarks of political leaders and supporters in this campaign period.
“There is a great need for presidential candidates, especially President Barrow, standard bearer of the National Peoples Party (NPP)- led alliance and lawyer Ousainu Darboe, leader of the UDP to stop personal attacks in election campaign platforms. They should tell us their programmes and policies rather than attacking each other,” Mamadou Jallow, resident of Sinchu Balliya told The Alkamba Times.
He added: “Such personal attacks between political rivals could instigate conflict in the country.”
In this regard, Jallow called on all political figures to act exemplarily and manifest good behaviors ahead December 4 to ensure smooth presidential election.
“Let the President tell us his achievements as well as his aims for the country in the next five years and oppositions tell us their programmes and policies for the country. If they do that, obviously there will be peaceful pre and post election in The Gambia,” he said.
Alieu Baldeh, resident of Bundung called on all and sundry to stop hate speech, and tribalism. These things, he said, will not advance the country.
“Well, I have understood that politicians like President Barrow and Lawyer Darboe are attacking each other but their supporters should think wisely and know that the country is greater than both Barrow and Darboe.”
Meanwhile, he called on all politicians particularly the President and his main challenger, Darboe to avoid hate speech and campaign based on their manifestos to ensure peaceful co-existence in the country.
Pa Njie, businessperson at the Serekunda Market, also called for the maintenance of peace and stability in the country. He said the electorate should choose and vote a competent candidate and avoid abusive language all around.
“Abusive language will not develop the country. It has no use. And there is a need for all Gambians to carefully and critically choose their candidates so that we do not regret after election,” he argued.
He said presidential candidates should “campaign with their programmes and policies so that the electorate make decisions before Election Day.” Kumba Jadama, vendor at the Serekunda Market, said: “There is no need for personal attacks and insults. We should wait until Election Day and cast our votes peacefully.”
Speaking further, she said if anyone wins the election, all Gambians should help him to develop the country in the interest of all.
“Violence has no use,” she added.