By Momodou Justice Darboe
The Gambia army in conjunction with relevant authorities is working on a policy document which will highlight and seek approval for the provision of some of benefits for retired former army chiefs.
This was disclosed to The Standard by Army PRO Major Lamin Sanyang.
The PRO said that is the best practice the world over that retired army heads enjoy some retirement benefits.
Recently, the Gambian people were shocked when out-going army chief Massaneh Kinteh requested for some security until he takes up his new job as a diplomat.
The request which was leaked online left many to question whether such is in line with the norm.
But according to Major Sanyang, the request by former army chief Kinteh was borne out of the need to give him a sense of security following an ‘attempt’ on his life. He added that it was Kinteh himself who made a request to the army for protection.
When asked why the same facility was not accorded to other retired army chiefs before him, the PRO said: “It will not be out-of-place for them too to be granted security if that request is made.”
The PRO said in fact if anything ex-CDS Kinteh’s request for security and other benefits is a wake-up call for the creation of better conditions for army heads in life after service to the nation.
Sometime ago, a former army head Brigadier Gen Babucarr Jatta told West Coast Radio that since his departure from the army, he has been left to fend for himself when it comes to his own protection.
Jatta said his house was once burgled and a television set stolen.
“If there had been a good arrangement since, the facilities Kinteh is requesting should have been there and enjoyed by all retired chiefs,” PRO Sanyang said.
The Standard also understands that former army chiefs Lang Tombong Tamba and Ousman Bargie too have no security.