Promotions in military should be based on merit

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Working environments need to be defined by principles of fair play and equity; otherwise animosity would replace harmony leading to entropy and retrogression in our development journey.

It was a perverse injustice to see soldiers being promoted to ranks they really didn’t deserve. That’s the painful experience for the past 22 years in The Gambia Armed Forces (GAF), and since we are in a new era, promotions should be on merit.

The action has denigrated professionalism and reduces confidence in our national armed forces. Promoting people; soldiers in particular to a position they don’t deserve tend to generate disrespect to the person(s) concern.

Over the past 22 years, The Gambia Armed Forces has gone through terrible experience – from recruitment to promotions. Recruitments were highly tribal motivated and not based on deserving candidates. Promotions were based on unabashed loyalty to the head of state and his party, making the army more of a political entity than armed forces designed to protect the country from any external aggression.

This kind of attitude must be eradicated and we are glad that the current high command in GAF is making progress towards the attainment of their objectives by revamping our armed forces to serve its purpose. We must salute the current high command of the GAF for championing this long awaited, but timely exercise. Promotions are important in motivating staff especially deserving ones and as such it should not be based on tribe, race or favouritism.

The men and women in uniform should be well reoriented to understand what and where it takes to show loyalty – whether to the state or head of state. The damaging experience the military has endured during 22 years of Jammeh’s government is enough to conclude that there is already a fraction in our armed forces.

We also urge men and women in uniform to remain loyal to the state and its leader as enshrined in our national anthem – ‘For The Gambian Our Homeland and To The Gambia Ever True!’

Very often we witness young talented Gambians enter the work force with much enthusiasm to contribute their quota to nation building; but then some in the office hierarchy begins to treat them unfairly in overt and coverts ways. That must also be stopped.

“You cannot just expect a promotion to come from the sky. ”
Jesse White