Saturday, May 27

Barrow urges military to be patient

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By Omar Bah

President Adama Barrow has assured the Gambian military of his government’s unflinching support and urges them to remain patient and allow the smooth progress of the country’s transformation process.

Last year, the president promoted CDS Yakuba Drammeh, Deputy CDS Mamat Cham, Ousman Gomez and Turo Jawneh to the ranks of lieutenant general, major general and brigadiers general respectively.

Addressing the nation’s top four military officials on Friday as they receive their rank symbols at State House, President Barrow said: “I will steadfastly continue to support and encourage the armed and security forces to be vigilant, flexible and responsive to threats and adoptive to all circumstances within the confines of the law. The armed forces of a nation are an important aspect of its sovereignty and should be prepared enough to defend the people whenever called upon for duty.

“Therefore, The Gambia Armed Forces should be proud always to execute its duties with honour and patriotic service to the country especially during the critical and sensitive process of rebuilding the nation and reasserting ourselves as a people,” he said.

The Gambian leader added: “I urge our gallant men and women in uniform and the entire defense and security community to remain committed, loyal and alert while on the path of duty. We repost our trust on you and implore you to be patient and act with integrity as the necessary reforms of the holistic transformation of the country progresses. Our common goal is a peaceful and progressive Gambia for all and with you we can achieve that.”

He reminds the top GAF officials that the successful implementation of the security reform process will highly depend on their determination, professionalism and devotion to duty.

“Our history and experience has put us in a unique situation that demands striking a delicate balance between service and duty on one hand and discretion on the other hand. As a law enforcement and security agency you will be confronted frequently with complex situations that require thoughtfulness and professionalism. This is particularly relevant as we transition into a new development phase while trying to reorient the people within the current fragile democratic environment.

“Your work as security personnel involve frequent intervention to curb different forms of crime in both neighbouring lands and territory including cyber threats, civil disturbances, drug trafficking and acts of terrorism because they are of great concern to all of us. It is imperative that we work collaboratively and mutually to make The Gambia the peaceful and stable nation we envision,” he stressed.

CDS Drammeh assured the president of the military’s continuous true allegiance and absolute loyalty to The Gambia and the commander-in-chief at all times. He said the army is committed to the country’s security reform agenda.

Meanwhile the President also presided over a symbolic handing over of 28 vehicles earmarked for possible GAF UN Mission deployments.