As the Presidential Elections in the Gambia get nearer, Peace Ambassadors-The Gambia’s commitment to peaceful and all-inclusive elections gets stronger.
As a Peacebuilding and advocacy entity, we are troubled with the recent upsurge of hate speech by politicians and party supporters.
At this critical point of our democratic process, the least that we require from our leaders is to spread love, tolerance and the ethos of unity admits a diverse people that constitute our beautiful Gambia. We have a strong value on respect for diversity and believe in the peaceful coexistence of all, regardless of background.
Having deployed 59 observers across the country for the presidential election (campaign, voting and counting) Peace Ambassadors-The Gambia is very concerned about receiving reports of dangerous, defamatory, and degrading statements from certain politicians. The most recent of it is the statement made by Mr. Dembo Bojang (Dembo By-force) at a political rally calling on some ethnic groups to get ready to be sent out of The Gambia when certain candidates win the election.
Mr. Bojang’s derogatory remarks directed at a specific ethnic group are tantamount to hate speech, inciting hatred among peace-loving Gambians, thus is a threat to our democratic process.
PAG is aware that The Gambia has laws that protect the fundamental rights and freedoms of all citizens and residents of The Gambia. No single person or entity has the power to send any citizen out of their own country.
We ardently condemn this statement by Mr. Bojang as we did to others in our last Election Watch press conference. We reiterate our call for all politicians to desist from making bigotry statements capable of putting fear in people’s minds or dividing the population and leading the citizenry into politics of deceit.
We urge every Gambian to jealously guard the existing strong relationship and love among tribes in The Gambia since time immemorial.
We conclude by praying for a very peaceful and transparent election on December 4th, 2021.