By Omar Bah
The National Assembly standing committee on defence and security on Tuesday summon the country’s security chiefs to discuss matters of security issues in the country.
The committee’s chairperson, Seedy S.K Njie said the meeting gave members of his team and the security chiefs the opportunity to familiarise themselves and discuss means of working together in the interest of national security.
He said the committee will collaborate with all government security agencies to preserve and defend the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Gambia.
Honourable Njie who also doubles as the Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly told the security chiefs his committee will not hesitate to exercise its powers conferred under section 109 subsection 3 to ensure the attendance of witnesses and examining them under oath, affirmation or compel them to produce documents.
“We will work with you closely in the area of defence and security so that all Gambians and its residents will continue to live in peace and tranquillity,” he said. He said his committee will ensure men and women in uniform and those under cover will effectively and efficiently perform their constitutional mandate of defending the territorial integrity of the country and protect lives and properties of all citizens and residents.
““Security should be the business of all and sundry and as such, I implore on all to collaborate in our journey to realise a more secured and safer Gambia where security forces will be subordinate to civil authority and act in accordance with the Constitution and other laws of The Gambia. It is our belief that these can only be realised through improved conditions and welfare with a motivated, highly trained and professional security,” he added.
Honourable Njie advised the security chiefs to ensure that when they are summoned to appear before the committee, they do so except on prior approval by the Committee.
“Any officer or institution who failed to appear upon request by the Committee, commits contempt of the National Assembly of which the Committee shall determine the nature of the sanction. Before presenting any report or give testimony, all officials/witnesses shall take the prescribed oath to be administered by the Clerk to the Committee”, Njie said.
He reminded the security chiefs that the committee shall give a timeline for the implementation of its recommendations and shall assume responsibility to monitor the implementation.