Ousman Sowe, the country’s spy chief made these remarks while responding to questions from journalists on whether the country is ready for a peaceful election during the agency’s presser at the SIS headquarters in Banjul.
“As far as we are concerned and what we have seen at the moment is, with the prevailing situation and with political parties crisscrossing the length and breadth of the country peacefully, we think The Gambia is ready for election in the current context, in the prevailing peaceful environment. With this current trend, we are of the strong view that Gambia is ready for election,” he told journalists.
SIS boss who was speaking on the activities of the service and the reforms it had undertaken for the past years, said: “We didn’t have any security situation report on a situation that has hindered the on-going process. Therefore, if this trend continues and if it’s sustained up to December 4th, we would have a peaceful election. We should all take special interest in the peace and stability of the country. We need to be tolerant and accommodate each other with the objectives of having peaceful elections. With the prevailing situation and the environment, we will be able to have a peaceful presidential election.”
“What we are doing over the period is sustainable intelligence reforms that’s catering for the present without compromising on the future, but we are also catering for the immediate needs but more building the intelligence service of The Gambia future. We want to commit ourselves and do the required work now so that the strategy intelligence service that every Gambian can be proud of and that every partner can respect and trust as we already started having.”
“In so doing, we use training and capacity building as tools to equip our staff and operatives with the relevant knowledge and skills to face and overcome multifaceted sophisticated threats and challenges to our national security. Our objective is to serve but not as oppressors but as protectors of security and wellbeing governed by policies that are ethical and honourable and in accordance with the fundamental human rights and as well as international best practices. This is the way we endeavour to do our business for the past five years. The testimonies we receive at the headquarters and partners attest to the fact that we have been guided by good practices with respect for human rights and ethics without violation of people’s rights,” he posited.
“We will continue to stand by the government, support policies, give advice and interact in the governance space among others with a view to building an intelligence service that’s fully conscious and proud of democratic and constitutional foundation.”
DG Sowe reassures Gambians of the agency’s full commitment to reforms, restructuring, and recasting and repositioning the service as the premier intelligence service in the country.
Lamin Jadama, SIS director of Reforms, Reorientation and Legal Affairs, said: “The service for the past years has undertaken reforms and restructuring.
The service is now professional and fully occupied with its core mandates of collecting, processing and dissemination of information on national security to the appropriate consumers of that product.”