Gambian experts decry misconception of democracy

BANJUL, Aug. 11 — The conduct of many Gambian citizens living home
and abroad is becoming a cause for concern due to their abuse of freedom of
expression and misconception of democracy, experts have said.

These Gambians have been seen involved in the spreading of hate speeches
via social media sites in the pretext of freedom of speech since the new
government took over in January. In one of his citizens engagements held
recently in the coastal community of Gunjur, southern Gambia, Yusupha
Bojang, a senior civic education officer at the National Council for Civic
Education (NCCE) described the phenomenon as “fearful.”He said many people
abuse the freedom of expression which is one fundamental principle of
democracy, by insulting or directing inflammatory remarks towards their
opponents and those they share different opinions with.

According to him, the 22-year-old regime of the most feared leader Yahya
Jammeh left Gambians ignorant about democracy.”Democracy does not mean
castigating one another. This is how it has been largely perceived by many
Gambians in what we called New Gambia. This abuse of freedom of expression
has a potential to create conflict. This is why we are targeting 20
communities in the Southern Kombos to transmit a clear message on the true
meanings and values of democracy,” he told Xinhua on the sidelines of the
training ground.Bojang described democracy as a general contribution
towards nation building and not about castigating, abusing and insulting
people or directing inflammatory remarks towards people in the pretext of
democracy.He emphasized that there had been a change of government but laws
remain. Demba Jobe Touray, Chairman of Gunjur Village Development
Committee, said as citizens it is prudent for all to try and improve the
status of the country and not to be waging attacks on one another which he
said may retard the development of the country.-XINHUA

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