The men and women in uniform held the parade in support of President Jammeh four days after a foiled coup attempt which the president described as “a terrorist attack”.
Several hundred soldiers, police, firemen and ambulance workers marched from the National Assembly to State House less than a kilometre away.
Addressing a cheering crowd of the armed forces, chief of defence staff of the Gambia Armed Forces, Lt Gen Ousman Badjie, said the Gambia armed forces were “absolutely loyal” to their commander-in-chief, President Jammeh.
He said: “We stand to give support and solidarity to the government and people of the Gambia. Fear and anger are natural emotions when such incidents occur but it is important that we stand together in solidarity, committed to one another as Gambians and committed to not letting outside influence define us as a nation. Rather, our unity and solidarity must be affirmed and our commitment to peace, security and our responsibility to do our part to build a better Gambia and the world. As the custodians of peace and security in The Gambia, the members of the armed and security services of The Gambia, as described in the second republic constitution, shall never compromise our sacred duty at any cost in safeguarding the territorial integrity of our dear Gambia. In doing so, we shall continue to show absolute loyalty to the president and commander-in-chief and The Gambia and its people in general. Come sunshine, come rain, day or night, we shall be loyal and protect the integrity of this country unfailingly.”
Speaking on behalf of President Jammeh, Vice President Isatou Njie-Saidy praised the men and women in uniform saying they have always shown professionalism and courage whenever they are put to test.
He said the good name of the armed forces of The Gambia has gone beyond the frontier of the country and assured them of the continuos support of their commander-in-chief, President Jammeh.
“We thank the armed forces for showing their commitment to the government, leadership and the people of this country. Once again you have proven to the whole world that you can defend the territorial integrity of this country. This should not be a surprise to the outsiders because people who are loyal to defending the territorial integrity of other countries, internationally, will surely be more ready in defending the territorial integrity of their own country. Once again you have proven the president right. He has always said that the armed and security forces of this country are loyal and indeed you are,” the vice president said.
“Long live the president!” read one of the banners waved by the demonstrators, who included Foreign Minister Bala Garba Jahumpa.
“Yahya Jammeh forever!” read another.]]>