“As members of the armed and security services, you must always remember that politics is beyond the scope of your competence and that participation in partisan politics undermines your professionalism. We must therefore, remain politically sterile and neutral but patriotic to our country.”
Colonel Njie was speaking last week at State House in Banjul during the decoration ceremony of 189 soldiers from the State Guard Battalion. Out of the 189 soldiers, 25 were promoted to Sergeant, 39 to Corporal, one to Staff Sergeant and 124 to Lance Corporal.
Njie added: “However, let me also emphasise that as members of the State Guards Battalion, loyalty to the president of the Republic and his government is a cardinal requirement. I also want to encourage you to continue to nature the cordial relation that exists between us and our civilian counterparts since the change of government in 2017.”
“To maintain the good relations, we must avoid all kinds of negative attitudes towards civilians. It’s worth knowing that the military should remain subservient to the civil authority in a democracy and please not that generally, civilians appreciate the armed and security services for protecting the territorial integrity of the country and ensuring internal security. They don’t like it when we intervene in domestic politics.”
He said: “It must be noted that we need the civilians in our daily activities and the success of our work is contingent upon having good relations with them, in fact, I should remind you that it is the civilians that pay for our salaries, the uniforms and equipment of operation. When we behave respectfully towards civilians, it is expected that they will reciprocate positively which is fundamental for achieving security, stability and prosperity for The Gambia.”
“Today’s ceremony therefore, gives us the opportunity to not only reflect on the achievements registered so far but also think about the big task that lies ahead of us particularly those associated with your new ranks.”