By Alagie Manneh
Gambian President Adama Barrow has presided over the swearing in of nine new ministers, and advised them to work hard, telling them the country’s progress cannot continue on a slow pace given the challenges it faces.
“The New Gambia calls for us to follow the right processes in the service of the nation. Thus, given all the huge challenges we face, the country cannot move at a snail pace. Rather, we must move together with vigour and seriousness,” Barrow said at the State House as ministers took oath of office, secrecy and allegiance.
The ministers who were sworn in were Amadou Sanneh at Trade ministry, Lamin Dibba Agric ministry, Isatou Touray Health ministry, Musa Saikou Drammeh Lands ministry, Mamburay Njie Finance ministry, Momodou Tangara Foreign Affairs ministry, Ebrima Sillah Communications ministry and Hadrammeh Sidbeh Youth ministry.
Two other people, permanent secretary Ada Gaye for agriculture ministry took oath and also Ebrima Sankareh, the newly appointed government spokesperson.
The president said: “Our individual attitudes towards work will reflect on our collective achievements, hence we must serve as examples and take positive steps to make major reforms in our institutions to promote transparency and accountability.
“As you are aware, the theme of the 31st Summit of the African Union was Winning the fight against corruption.
To achieve this, we need the right institutions, policies and, most importantly, the right human resources to implement all relevant policies and programmes, as well as to establish the right norms in all public institutions. Together, we should rededicate ourselves to serving the national interest in all our engagements, and avoid all negative and selfish attitudes and actions.
“Honourable Colleagues, our pledge to engage in institutional and legal reforms mandates us to work hard in order to achieve our goal as a government. We have to ensure that we leave behind a legacy of strong and sustainable institutions, effective laws and the right procedures that will transform our country into a fully-fledged democracy and facilitate social, economic and political development for our people.
“I have the conviction that you will re-new your commitment to hard work, and focus on having a unified purpose for the realization of our National Development Plan (2018-2021). As a government, we have the singular responsibility to make this country a shining example of development, democracy, rule of law and peaceful co-existence that would make us a model in the sub-region and beyond.”
“The burden rests on us to manage our new found democracy; therefore, it cannot be business as usual. We have the challenging task of changing and developing the nation, and you are the leaders entrusted with the noble responsibility to lead this positive change in your institutions.”
The vice president Ousainu Darboe who also took his oath on Monday said they are “determined to surmount each and every challenge, however difficult it may be”, so that “Gambian people can continue to enjoy the respect of other countries”
“We are committed to abide by the oath we have taken and that means our unalloyed loyalty to you Mr President and the constitution of the republic of The Gambia…,” Darboe committed.