By Omar Bah
President Adama Barrow has issued a strong warning to all government officials that undermining government policies because of political considerations would not be accepted as he sworn in two ministers and the secretary general yesterday.
“It is not acceptable for anyone entrusted a position of trust to undermine the government’s policies and programmes l considerations,” he said at the swearing-in ceremony at State House.
Last month the Gambian leader appointed Sheikh Omar Faye as Minister of Defence, Yankuba Sonko as Minister for the Interior and Muhammed BS Jallow as the secretary general and head of the civil service.
He said what the country needs “are the right people to take responsibility for our institutions, and lead the implementation of our policies and programmes”.
“Out of necessity, we have to serve as role models, and take positive steps to reform our institutions. Our positions compelled us also to promote and ensure transparency and accountability,” he said.
He said the government has now introduced a single consolidated fund as means of reducing waste and corruption.
“I must point out that corruption is not about financial mismanagement only. It includes abuse of authority, cheating on hours of work by delaying outputs and refusing to follow the right procedures and processes,” he added.
He said peace, security and the rule of law are key factors for stability. “With this in view, I decided to let go the portfolio of the Minister of Defence to ensure that we have a ministry, under a cabinet minister to lead the sector reforms we so strongly believe in and desire to implement. It is in this context that we have a new minister of defence.”
Further justifying his recent cabinet reshuffle, Barrow said he is confident that with the new Interior Minister, a sharper focus and more urgency will help his government attain the security reform programme.
“I am glad that both ministers have the expertise and experience to strengthen the peace, security, stability and rule of law we have established so far. In the current democratic dispensation, both the security personnel and the civilians must play their role. Key, in this regard, is respect for the rule of law,” he charged.
The Gambian leader said his priority is to put the country’s governance institutions “in the right form”.