The president of the Republic has decried the attitude of people using their power or position to terrorise other's, vowing that he will not appoint anyone to trample on colleagues. The president also condemned what he described as double standards among some Gambians, especially those who fail to correct a particular government official doing the wrong things, but yet speculate once the person gets his marching orders. His Excellency Sheikh Professor Alhaji Dr. Yahya Jammeh was speaking Thursday afternoon at State House while presiding over the swearing-in ceremony of the newly appointed secretary general, head of the Civil Service and Presidential Affairs minister, Dr. Kalilou Bayo as well as the ministers of Lands and Regional Government, and Energy, Momodou Aki Bayo and Dr. Edward Saja Sanneh respectively.
The trio took three oaths - office, secrecy and allegiance - and vowed to execute the functions of their respective offices without 'fear' or 'favour', 'affection' or 'ill-will'. The oaths were administered by the secretary to cabinet, Abdoulie Sallah.
The Gambian leader, in his remarks, clearly stated: "I would not appoint anybody to trample on others. I do not do so because I know I am not God. I know that we are all human beings and my position is just a position that Allah has given me and He has given me because I have to be servant of the people. So I would not step on the people because I am the president and I see no reason why anybody should step on people because he/she is a minister or whatsoever, not under my administration! After all, we are all Gambians."
President Jammeh reiterated his displeasure at the attitude of Gambians who keep quiet over malpractices of a government official without advising or correcting the person, but yet speculate, the moment he/she has been shown the exit door.
He continued: "There is one thing that I don't like about Gambians and I have to say it today. When somebody is appointed and starts doing bad things, nobody would come and say anything, but as soon as the person is kicked-out, then they start saying 'we knew this was going to happen'. That is hypocrisy.
"If somebody is doing something that is bad and is affecting you and the country, stop him and if you cannot stop him, report him to somebody who can stop him. If you are a good citizen and good Muslim or Christian, when somebody is appointed in any position and is doing something bad, your obligation as a human being and a servant of God is to stop the person from doing what is bad. Advise him and if he/she refuses, report him to somebody who can stop him. What is the use of telling me after I have dismissed somebody for the bad things he was doing? Are you being a good citizen? No! Are you being a good Muslim No! You are a hypocrite and so stop hypocrisy! I am not interested in that. This is hypocrisy which is haram."
The president thanked the Almighty Allah for the day and Gambians that have responded to the call to national duty. He noted that the new appointees are not new to him and commended them for accepting the challenge to serve the Gambian people.
"Your relationship with human beings is very important. You are made a president because there are human beings to serve. You are made a leader because there are people to lead and there is something to lead and your responsibilities toward people you lead are very important; they are sacrosanct. Allah would judge us for our entire actions based on the responsibility and position He has given us. So it is very important that you should always remember that you have taken oaths because no matter what we do, where we do it, whether it's open or in secret we will face the Almighty Allah one day and account for all our actions," he cautioned. Dr Kalilou Bayo, for his part, thanked the president for calling him to serve in the interest of national development. He described his appointment as a call to duty and declared that he graciously accepted the challenge. Bayo also described a cabinet appointment as one of the greatest honours one can get.
"There are many Gambians and if you are selected and assigned some key responsibilities, you must realise a few things; the challenge to execute any high-level position is a challenge, but there is a reward for that and that is the satisfaction you garner for participating, contributing to national development. I would like to thank you for the opportunity and I look forward to working with you and my colleagues in delivering what is expected," he stated.
Momodou Aki Bayo also thanked Allah for the life and the president for the trust and confidence reposed on him once again to serve his nation. "I wish to assure you that with the help of Allah I will try to execute the duties and responsibilities attached to the post as I have already sworn to," he said.
Dr. Edward Saja Sanneh also thanked Allah for the life and the president for the opportunity to serve as minister. "I am really elated to be given the privilege and the opportunity to work for my nation. So, being chosen among a lot especially from the youth folk to serve my nation, I want to thank the Almighty Allah and His Excellency the president especially for having the confidence in me," he remarked.
The ministers of Basic and Secondary Education and Transport, Works and Infrastructure and National Assembly Matters, Fatou Lamin Faye and Bala Garba Jahumpa respectively, both took turns to welcome the newly sworn-in officials to cabinet. They assured them of their support and collaboration at all times in the quest of achieving the common national development targets.