‘We must unite for a better Gambia’

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Adama Barrow, the president of the Republic of The Gambia says the country is going through a phase of transformation, which calls for strong structures and a solid human resource base.

“To realise our goals as a government and a people, we must stand united and work to change the country for the better. Since coming to office, my priority has been to put our institutions in the right form, monitor and review their processes and successes, and take proper action,” he declared.

Barrow was speaking on Thursday during the swearing-in ceremony of the newly appointed secretary general and head of the Civil Service, Defence minister and the minister of the Interior alongside the newly appointed permanent secretaries. The new appointees took three oaths –the oath of Office, Secrecy and Allegiance.

Mr. Barrow said: “Peace, security and the rule of law are key factors for stability. With this in view, I decided to let go the portfolio of Minister of Defence to ensure that we have a Ministry, under a Cabinet Minister to lead the sector reforms we so strongly believe in and desire to implement,” he stated, saying “It is in this context that we have a new Minister of Defence.”  

“Because it is also important to fast track the internal security sector reforms, I trust that with the new Interior Minister, a sharper focus and more urgency will attend the security reform programme.”

The newly appointed ministers, he said, both have the expertise and experience to strengthen the peace, security, stability and rule of law we have established so far. “In the current democratic dispensation, both the security personnel and the civilians must play their role. Key, in this regard, is respect for the rule of law.”

The secretary general, permanent secretaries, heads of department and all civil servants, he added, have to assert the right disciplinary measures and standards in their operations and procedures. “We do not have the luxury to slow down government machinery, nor the country’s progress. The only option is to sincerely commit ourselves to service,” he emphasised.

“As we begin the process of working together as a renewed team, I urge all of us to renew our commitment to building strong institutions for national development.”

 The huge challenges we face in the “New Gambia”, he continued, calls on us to follow the right processes. In doing so, we must be selfless, and move together with vigour and seriousness.

“Let me emphasise that although we are individually entrusted with positions of trust, our individual attitudes towards work will reflect on our collective achievements. Out of necessity, we have to serve as role models, and take positive steps to reform our institutions.”

According to him our positions compel us also to promote and ensure transparency and accountability. “It is for this reason, and to reduce waste and corruption that Government now has a single consolidated fund.”

Author: Momodou Jawo