The Youth Coordinator of the Sarahulleh community in the Gambia onon Friday condemned the rhetoric of hate that some political parties supporters are trading on social media platforms. Basamba Haruna Drammeh reminded Gambians to go by the rules during electoral competition as the country is enjoying a new democratic dispensation.
“Democracy is not supposed to be the tyranny of the majority. Minority rights need to be respected and protected,” Mr. Drammeh told reporters during a presser held at Sumpu Duhati, located along MDI road in Kanifing.
The Sarahulleh community youth leader’s remarks come in the wake of an audio tape targetting members of the said community in Dippakunda for allegedly supporting independent candidate for KMC mayorship Papa Momodou Njie. The tape has gone viral on social media, raising serious concerns from a good number of Gambians.
Drammeh said the socially toxic and hateful message by an avowed supporter of a political party against his community has prompted elders to consult within themselves, and condemn the message and the messenger in totality.
“We hereby call on the government of The Gambia, especially law enforcement officers, to commit to ensuring peace and security in the country,” he said, exhorting members of the Sarahulleh community to keep the peace, and to be law-abiding all the time.
“We also urge the members of our community to never take the law into their own hands. Therefore, all attacks should be immediately reported to the police and the Independent Electoral Commission,” he said.
United Democratic Party (UDP) National Assembly member for Kantora Hon. Billay G.Tunkara clearly stated his political organisation dissociates itself from any form of inflammatory political rhetoric.
“This is a concern for every Gambian, not only Sarahullehs as a tribe,” he told this reporter.
Though the hate speech offends directly Gambians morality, but Tunkara said the audio maker is not a political figure in the party. UDP Parliamentarian said the woman who voiced out hate audio tape does not represent the party, and is not speaking on behalf of the UDP either. He assured that appropriate measure should be taken against the maker of the tape.
Hon. Drammeh advised political parties supporters to accept dissenting views, saying it is a fundamental right of every citizen to choose which political party or candidate to support. “Let us accept our diversity. Let us accept our dissenting opinions,” Hon. Drammeh said.
Police spokesperson expressed similar sentiments, and warned Gambians to desist from promoting the rheoric of hate. “Hate speech is not accepted by Gambians. We all belong toThe Gambia,” David Kujabi said. “If we know the actual perpetrator of this audio, we are surely going to arrest her,” he warned.
Kujabi disclosed to this reporter that the Police already open investigation into the inflammatory audio tape. “The Criminal Investigation Unit (CIU) is looking into the matter.”