Oct 11, 2011, 3:15 PM
President Yahya Jammeh last Thursday presided over the swearing-in of the newly-appointed Minster of the interior and five new judges at State House.
Lamin Kaba Bajo took the oath of office, allegiance, and secrecy administered by the acting secretary to cabinet Ramou Cole-Ceesay, alongside five new judges in the persons of Justice Mama Fatima Singhateh, Justice Raymond Claudious Sock, Justice Emmanuel Fagbenle, elevated as judges of the Gambia Court of Appeal, while Justice Penda Dibba and Justice Abdullah Mikailu were also appointed as high court judges.
Speaking at the swearing-in ceremony, President Jammeh tasked the new Interior minister to put his house in order, declaring that what he needs is an iron broom to clean the police force.
Noting that there is still rampant harassment of drivers, President Jammeh said every day one hears outrageous stories and, in most cases, the complainants become the accused persons.
“The best way to know the happenings in your area is to put your ears on the ground, and you must be interested in what goes on at the police stations and check-points,” he stated.
“You have to listen to the people, but don’t act based on what people tell you because others may have a hidden agenda against others and if you depend entirely on the reports of your officials on the grounds, you will make a big mistake, because they will tell you what you want to hear and one that will always protect their interest,” Jammeh added.
According to the Gambian leader, the laws of the Gambia must be upheld, and that “it is quite obvious that, if you to listen to detractors, you would have failed in your oaths, because detractors do not wish this country well, and listening to them you will be wasting your time and there will be a miscarriage of justice in this country.
“Let me make it very clear that The Gambia will not be ruled twice, enslaved or colonised twice, because there will be no instance where laws of this country will be promulgated outside of this country and enforced according to the wishes of those people who promulgated them,” Jammeh said.
Noting that the laws of The Gambia will not be passed by outsiders, but the Gambian people based on their interest, Jammeh said how Gambia will enforce its laws or how the Judiciary is carried out is “nobody’s business”.
Jammeh urged the Judiciary to apply the laws of The Gambia because, as he put it, it is the Gambians who passed the laws through their representatives at the National Assembly.
Also speaking at the ceremony, the vice president and minister of Women’s Affairs, Aja Dr Isatou Njie-Saidy, congratulated the newly-appointed Interior minister and judges for accepting the challenges reposed on them.
She also commended President Jammeh for appointing the new judges and interior minister, something, she said, which signifies the focused government we have in the country.
“Without the Judiciary, there will be no peace and security because everybody can do whatever they want, which means there will be lawlessness and there will also be a failed state,” she stated.
Interior minister Lamin Kaba Bajo commended President Jammeh for renewing his trust and confidence in him, promising to live up to expectations.
Describing peace and security as the only gold mine the Gambia is blessed with, Kaba Bajo said this is of paramount importance for The Gambia.
Jobarteh, attorney general and Minister of Justice also spoke at the ceremony,
while Ramou Cole-Ceesay, acting secretary to cabinet chaired the ceremony.
Meanwhile, in a separate development, President Jammeh also on Thursday received the Mauritanian minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Hamadi Baba Ould Hamadi.
A special envoy of President Muhammed Ould Abdel Aziz of Mauritania, foreign minister Hamadi told waiting journalists, shortly after meeting the Gambian leader, that he delivered a written message to President Jammeh from his Mauritanian counterpart.
According to him, the message contained a special invitation to President Jammeh to visit Mauritania at a date, he said, to be determined by the foreign affairs ministers of the two countries.
While acknowledging the cordial ties between Banjul and Nouakchott, foreign minister Hamadi said President Jammeh offered him some advice relating to the way forward.
He said that during his discussion with the Gambian leader, key areas were identified relating to bilateral cooperation on which, he said, both countries should work for the mutual benefit of the two countries and peoples.