Africa-Press – Gambia. The National Assembly candidates for April elections have been strongly urged against making hate speech as they are advised to embrace peace and harmony throughout the election circle.
The advice comes under the heel of a signing ceremony of symbolic Code of Conduct for parliamentary election.
At least 16 candidates from West Coast Region signed the document as other candidates around the nation followed suit.
Speaking at the ceremony at the International Conference Centre in Bijilo, Ousman Yabo, a local facilitator said: “I am calling on the candidates because you’re key in ensuring peace prevail, I am calling on the candidates to ensure that they desist from insult, hate speech, religious remark, tribal differences.”
“By doing that you’re saving your own life. If you create a station where there will be violence, you will not know who is safe and who will be safe. So, I urge you the candidates to stand firm, to commit yourself to this Code of Conduct.
“The social media is a concern to everybody in this country when you listen to voices either in the country or outside country,” he added.
“And you begin to wonder whether those people are Gambians or those people are lovers of the Gambian people, because some of those remarks can cause an endless violence that can lead to other uncomfortable situation.
“Let us look at what is happening in Mali, Burkina Faso, Guinea Conakry, the people in those countries are now not at peace because power has been forced on them. A military coup, do we want that in The Gambia? No. And to avoid we must do our election in a peaceful manner,” he continued.
Meanwhile, he informed the meeting that there are 251 candidates certified to contest the National Assembly Elections with 19% of them women and one disabled. This he says means the country’s gender and democratic credentials are improving.