By Lamin Njie

A staggering 73 percent of Gambians have told a poll they ‘strongly’ agree that the draft constitution should establish that The Gambia is a secular state – where the government is neutral in matters of religion.

Secularity proved a vexed issue during the consultative process of the Constitutional Review Commission with Christians campaigning heavily for the new constitution to carry the word ‘secular’. That never happened.

However, a nationwide survey of The Gambia by the International Republican Institute’s (IRI) Center for Insights in Survey Research was conducted on the draft constitution between November and December 2019.

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The survey used a multistage probability sampling method through face-to-face interviews with 1,178 Gambians aged 18 and above. A staggering 73 percent of those interviewed said they ‘strongly’ agree that the draft constitution should establish that The Gambia is a secular state.

The data was weighted for age, gender, urbanicity, and local government area based on results of the 2018 Labor Force Survey of The Gambia.

Thirteen percent strongly disagreed.