The president of the Republic has praised Bala Garba Jahumpa, the new minister of Communication and Information Infrastructure, for his hard work, loyalty and patriotism to the APRC government since the dawn of the revolution in 1994. He described Jahumpa as a role model, approachable, down-to-earth and a very sociable, tolerant and humble public servant.
His Excellency Sheikh Professor Alhaji Dr Yahya Jammeh was speaking on Thursday afternoon at State House in Banjul while presiding over the swearing-in ceremony of Bala Garba Jahumpa as the new minister of Information and Communication Infrastructure.
"As far as I am concerned, Bala Garba Jahumpa has never been dismissed from my government. His deployments depend on where his service is needed most. He has come back to the domestic call for obvious reasons and I think with all sincerity and honesty, he has been a role model and I hope he will continue to be a role model in Cabinet, not only is he approachable, down-to-earth, but he is also very sociable, tolerant and humble," said President Jammeh.
According to President Jammeh, these virtues are very important for any human being more so a public servant. "He [Bala] was a person that was very conversant with the problems of the portfolio he was responsible for. And he was everybody's friend too and I hope that he would be the same man I used to know. He has being playing an integral part in this government since 1994. So keep up the good work, continue to be a role model, not only for the Cabinet but of course for the country as well.
Wherever you are, you must remember that a nation is built based on the individual and collective sacrifice of its citizens. So if you are ready for nation building, no position is still low for you and no position is too high for you. Unfortunately, those who are out for titles, from minister, they would not like to be called ambassadors.
We have to believe in this country and realise that the only entity we look up to is the Almighty Allah to build this country for us, after Him we look up to ourselves and take it upon ourselves to build the type of nation that we want for our grandchildren. Those who normally sacrifice to develop a country are not necessarily the ones who will enjoy that development. So once again welcome to the Cabinet. We will quarrel and we will also joke as we build a better Gambia and become an economic superpower to be reckoned with" he said.
The Gambian leader once again reiterated the loyalty of Minister Jahumpa to the present government saying "your loyalty to the APRC cannot be questioned. You are persevering, despite all the problems and the criticism. In Cabinet we are bound to have convergence of views as well as divergence of views. So keep up the good work," he concluded.
Soon after taking the three oaths of office, Minister Jahumpa thanked God for life and President Jammeh for the trust and confidence bestowed upon him. He said it is an indisputable fact that it was the advent of the July 22nd Revolution that various infrastructural developments have taken place in The Gambia, citing the Kombo Coastal Road, the major road in the North Bank of the country as well as the major referral hospitals in Farafenni, Bwiam and in Serekunda as few examples.
"Only Allah can reward you, Your Excellency, for what you have done for this country.What we can do collectively as a Cabinet is to reassure you that in this development process, you will have our support in order for us to collectively address the needs and aspirations of the Gambian people.
I want to reassure you that as Cabinet ministers, we will support your endeavours through a common struggle for social justice for all Gambians. And collectively as a Cabinet, we will support your efforts and any progressive Gambian would be honoured and privileged to join your team in the continuous efforts to address the needs and aspirations of the Gambian people," he further stated.
Minister Jahumpa further remarked that it is self-evident to the whole nation that under President Jammeh's leadership, The Gambia has gone through a major development process for the benefit of the people.
Speaking earlier, the vice president and minister of Women's Affairs, Aja Dr Isatou Njie-Saidy, thanked Minister Jahumpa for being one of the strong pioneering supporters of the APRC from the time of the revolution to date.
She said: "You have served the APRC government in various capacities and you have excelled in each of these positions. You see, what is critical is commitment. You were committed and you also love your job and you can't do well if you don't love your job. You never give-up even when things were hard. I knew you were down-to-earth because of your commitment and hardwork."
For his part, the secretary general and head of the Civil Service, who is also the minister for Presidential Affairs and National Assembly Matters, praised Minister Jahumpa for ever being loyal to the APRC government from the dawn of the Revolution. He expressed confidence that he [Jahumpa] will live up to expectation."You are called 'Action Man' for a reason and please keep the momentum and the legacy alive. You can continue to count on all of us for our support and readiness to work with you to deliver the goods Gambians expect from us," Dr Bah advised.
He also advised members of the Cabinet to keep the ball rolling, reminding them of the collective responsibility in the attainment of Vision 2020 and the MDGs with time fast approaching. "Let us prioritise our travels, delegate officials and try to spend as much time as possible on the ground to acquaint ourselves with issues surrounding our ministries. We are one family with one vision, one target and one goal," SG Bah told the Cabinet.
Ousman Sonko, the Interior minister, also thanked the Gambian leader for appointing Bala Jahumpa into Cabinet, saying it goes to show that he [President Jamme] has trust and confidence in him. He equally thanked Minister Jahumpa for accepting what he called a 'challenging responsibility' and used the opportunity to inform him that the Cabinet under the dynamic leadership of President Jammeh is like a one family, although there are instances when they have to disagree to agree which is all geared towards attaining the best for the country.
"You've already sworn-in to three oaths and I hope you know what they all mean. I want to remind you most specifically the oath of secrecy. This is with you for life even whereas you are not in Cabinet," the Interior minister concluded.