The newly elected National Assembly Members were Thursday evening sworn in at a ceremony held at the National Assembly Chambers in Banjul.
At the ceremony, all new NAMs swore to be faithful and bear true allegiance to the Republic of The Gambia and to execute the functions of an honorable National Assembly Member (NAM) without fear or favour, affection or ill will, according to the constitution of The Gambia and other laws of the land.
Shortly after taking their oaths, after his unanimous re-election as speaker, Hon. Abdoulie Bojang returned thanks to Allah and prayed for His continued guidance as they set to discharge their duties in the service of the country.
He also thanked President Yahya Jammeh for the trust and confidence he has on him by re-nominating him to serve as speaker of the National Assembly in another five years to come.
“Let me use this opportunity to renew my allegiance and loyalty to President Yahya Jammeh and I am saying thank you Mr President and thank you also all my colleagues in the House for the renewed confidence and I wish to assure you of my sincerity to uphold, protect and promote the constitution and the other laws of The Gambia as well as the standing orders of the National Assembly,” Speaker Bojang stated.
He used the ceremony to speak of his resolve to continue to work with both sides of the National Assembly and to further protect the democratic ideals and values including their pluralism, multi-party parliament democracy and the maintenance of the rule of law.
Speaker Bojang challenged his colleagues to serve in the best interest of their electorate and The Gambia in particular, while tasking them to be dedicated and committed to the work of the National Assembly and, by extension, serve the nation.
“To be National Assembly Member is not an easy task but with the Almighty in sight, coupled with hard work, sincerity, dedication and commitment, we shall no doubt succeed together,” he told the new NAMs.
He underscored the need for unity of purpose, stressing that unity lies in strength and that all should make The Gambia a better place for all.
“When it is time for national interest, let us put aside our party politics and work together to move The Gambia forward,” he said.
“We do have different divergent views on politics, but we do also have party interests to safeguard, the supreme national interest of The Gambia and all those people that have committed to our charge, is our statutory, legal, moral, and social responsibility to protect.
“Your electorates have decided to vote for you as their representatives; you must endeavour to live up to expectations and the aspirations of your people and we can only have the moral authority to scrutinise and perform oversight over public life, public service and public officers if we ourselves live by example.”
He said as servants of the people, they conform to the norms of their social responsibility both in deeds and in words to uphold and defend the principles of the rule of law as well as national security.
He as well advised his colleagues to be prepared to promote and protect the supreme national interest of The Gambia at all times.
Speaker Abdoulie Bojang also acknowledged the total support given to the National Assembly by the President and his government, saying that as continued to enable them to carry out their work effectively without any obstacles.
Speaker Bojang used the occasion to thank the outgoing National Assembly members for the relentless sacrifice and contributions they have made to the work of the National Assembly over the years.
“May the Almighty Allah open his door of blessing to them wherever they are,” he prayed.
Meanwhile, shortly after the 53 NAMs were sworn in at the Assembly Chambers, Hon Sulayman Joof, National Assembly member for Serrekunda West, led the nomination for election of the majority leader.
He was seconded by Hon. Abdoulie Kanagi Jawla, NAM for Sandu, while Hon. Sainey Mbye of Upper Saloum led the nomination of Hon. Samba Jallow, NAM for Niamina Dankunku, who was unanimously elected without any opponent.
The National Assembly Members finally nominated Hon. Fabakary Tombong Jatta as the majority leader of the House for the fourth time, while Hon. Samba Jallow, NAM for Niamina Dankunku, was elected as the minority leader.