THE CHIEF OF DEFENCE STAFF GAMBIA ARMED FORCES EMBARKS ON HIS ANNUAL NATIONWIDE TOUR OF MILITARY INSTALLATIONS
Fulfilling one of his core mandates, the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) of the Gambia Armed Forces (GAF) Lieutenant General Yakuba A Drammeh on Monday 31 October 2022 begun his annual nationwide tour of military installations. This year’s event has been graced by the Honourable Minister of Defence Brigadier General (rtd) Serign Modou Njie accompanied by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Defence Rohey Bittaye Darboe.
The high-powered delegation comprising of senior GAF Officials as well as that of the Ministry of Defence were received to a splendid Quarter Guard mounted by personnel of the Gambia Navy.
The first port of call was at the Ghanaian ECOMIG contingent base in Barra, where Lieutenant Colonel Kobby Ackah the Contingent Commander gave a brief presentation on his contingent’s responsibilities and activities. The delegation also had a brief interaction with the troops of the contingent before being treated to a light refreshment.
The next stop for the entourage was at Njongon Military Post. Here the delegation was received at the unit’s mosque by elders of Njongon and prayers were offered for the deletion, troops under command and the Gambia at large. The delegation later met with the community of Njongon during which expression of joy and gratitude towards the GAF high command punctuated the event. Officers and soldiers under command were said to be hardworking, discipline and professionals who perform their duties with due diligence.
Speaking at the event, the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Defence Rohey Bittay Darboe shed light on the importance of the tour while thanking the people of Njongon for their receptiveness toward the Officers and soldiers posted at the Njongon Military Post.
The Honourable Minister of Defence, Brigadier General (rtd) Sering Modou Njie noted that the presence of his ministry as part of the tour is owed to the invitation of the CDS to join him on this annual event of tour to military installations. He said the tour will avail him the opportunity to interact with members of the institution under his ministry and also have firsthand information on the living conditions of Officers and soldiers posted across the length and breadth of the country. He said these while extending greetings from His Excellency President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces Mr. Adama Barrow. He also enjoined all to preach and nurture peace while emphasizing that, the business of peace should be everyone’s business.
The CDS Lieutenant General Yakuba A Drammeh thanked Officers and soldiers of 2 Infantry Battalion particularly the Njongon Military Post for their dedication to duty. He said their dedication, loyalty to service and discipline has been manifested in the speeches of the people of Njongon. He encouraged them to do more and remain steadfast in their core functions, bearing in mind the core values of military service.
He commended them for adhering to instructions and advice he gave them during his last tour vis-a-vis: stay out of politics, do not entertain tribalism as it has no place in the army and the army cannot afford to be divided.
On the side of civil-military relationship and CIMIC engagements, CDS Drammeh commended the troops for coordinating and maintaining a healthy relationship with the civilians, civil authorities and also giving lending helping hands to the populace noting that as what is required of them. He also commended them for the cordial cooperation between them and the sister security services.
In the area of Peacekeeping, he said plans are in high gear for a possible deployment into a Peacekeeping mission. He informed the gathering that already two Armoured Personnel Carriers have arrived in for training purposes and others are undergoing manufacturing in Turkey. He however made it crystal clear that he want GAF to deploy in a Peacekeeping mission with GAF’s own assets stressing that is a legacy he wants to leave behind.
Concerns were raised on promotion issues but GAF Chief indicated that promotion as it used to be in the army will now be conducted base on promotional exams for Officers while pre-cadre and cadre courses as applicable will be the way forward for the Other ranks.
The delegation proceeded to pay a courtesy call on the Governor North Bank Region Lamin Saidykhan. A brief meeting was held with him at his office in Kerewan which has been labelled as very fruitful.
From Kerewan, the convoy headed to Kerr Pateh where the delegation held a meeting with the people of Kerr Pateh as well as a session with the soldiers posted there. The people of Kerr Pateh including the business community expressed profound gratitude to the GAF high command for providing them with security as the area and it’s surrounding they describe, are prone to attacks by criminals. They took turns in noting that the coming of the soldiers, brought peace and safety to that general area. Speakers welcomed the delegation by praising and recognizing the discipline, commitment and dedication of the Officers and soldiers posted to Kerr Pateh.
The delegation retired to Farafenni for a night’s rest. Meanwhile, the CDS 2022 tour of military installations continues.
Source: Culled from The Gambia Armed Forces. Article was written by GAF