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13 GAF officers decorated

Feb 17, 2012, 1:17 PM | Article By: Lamin B. Darboe

Thirteen officers of the Gambia Armed Forces, GAF, were on Wednesday promoted to various ranks at a ceremony held at State House in Banjul.

Presided over by President Yahya Jammeh, commander-in-chief of the Gambia Armed Forces and also minister of defence, the ceremony saw military officers Musa Jammeh, Seedy Joof, Abdoulie Manneh, Alieu Jatta, Timothy Sanyang, Saikou Kujabi, Ebrima Krubally, and Bahorey Jaiteh, all promoted from the rank of captain to major.

Ebou Faal, Alieu Sanneh and Ansu Badjie were elevated from the rank of navy lieutenant to lieutenant commander; whilst Cadet Officer Elizabeth Enes was elevated to the rank of captain.

Speaking shortly after the decoration and swearing-in of the newly-promoted officers, President Jammeh commended the GAF high command for making the day possible, noting that it clearly indicates that the army high command has taken its responsibilities seriously.

According to the Gambian leader, gone are the days when people perceive the armed force as a place for dropouts, pledging that in the next five years, the armed and security services of this country will be self-contained with the availability of doctors, lawyers, and so on.

He told members of the GAF that the basic criteria for promotion is not seniority, and will never be based on seniority.

“It would be based on your performance, because it is the only way that promotion is justified and that is the only the way officers that were promoted have self confidence and be dignified,” he said, adding that you cannot be an effective commander of any branch of the arm forces if you don’t have self confidence, and there is no way you can have self-confidence knowing that your promotion was not based on merit but base on years you served in the army.

For President Jammeh, to have an efficient army, everything must be done transparently. There must be a system of reward and punishment, a system of motivation and inspiration, a system of guidance and a system that clearly points out the objectives ahead so that every member of the family of the armed and security services knows what to expect.

This being the case, he went on, the basic criteria for promotion in the arm forces is not seniority, and it will never be based on seniority.

“Whether you swore to the Quran or Bible or not the Almighty Allah would always reward you or punish you based on what you have in your heart, and what you do. This country belongs to all of us; the oath is just a reminder, something to remind you of your responsibilities,” Jammeh stated.

He added that it is not only the armed forces that is ensuring peace and stability in this country, but every citizen who behaves well and knows that there are laws to be respected, and knows that his or her safety is as important as that of others.

Dr. Njogu Bah secretary general and head of the Civil Service, congratulated the newly promoted officers, and urged them to live up to expectations.

SG Bah also urged the officers to be loyal, committed and hard working for the development of the armed forces.

Lt. General Masanneh Kinteh, chief of defence staff, told the gathering that promotions in the armed forces are based on merit, and that this was not just a routine exercise.

“This promotion is one that was conducted in accordance with a combination of certain principles and procedures, as part of our transformation and restructuring process,” he stated.

According to him, the armed forces are undergoing rapid transformation in order for GAF to respond to a changing and complex security environment, hence the need to fill certain vacancies in the command structure.

Other speakers at the ceremony included the new ministers of Youth and Sports Alieu K. Jammeh, Francis Liti Mboge, deputy minister of works, construction and infrastructure, and Fatou Lamin Faye, minister of basic and secondary education. Harry Sambou, permanent secretary ministry of defence chaired the ceremony.