Speaking during the recent biennial conference of chiefs in Jarra Soma, he stated: “President Jammeh has the ideas of a great leader and some of these ideas have attracted the attention of other people in other countries to support their development strives. Some of these countries may be bigger in size with natural resources, but The Gambia is endowed with the blessing and freedom to pursue its development goals. If the whole world sees President Jammeh as an exemplary leader, then what are we [Gambians] waiting for? We must therefore make maximum use of our own available resources especially land and active labour force so as to yield the desired results. His support to the Ministry of Local Government in its administrative duties is unprecedented.
“The president’s advice to the ministry is to work closely with local chiefs to establish councils as it is practised in other countries. This led to the establishment of a national council of chiefs and efforts are currently underway to create a council of village heads (alkalolu). This is meant to foster unity, peace and development in the country. This is important because although colonialism took away some of the powers of the chiefs, the institution was maintained as a vital instrument for the administration of the protectorate which now forms our respective communities.
“The coming into being of political parties also caused enormous loss of authority, glory and respect of local chiefs. It was against this undesirable state of affairs that the president introduced measures to revisit and enhance the role of our traditional rulers. Within this framework, for the first time in the history of the country, a council of chiefs was introduced headed by a paramount chief. These chiefs must remain focused and proactive in pursuit of the development agenda of government,” he said.
By Lamin Njie]]>