The outgoing CO of the 1st Infantry Battalion of Yundum Barracks, Colonel Sait Njie has urged soldiers of The Gambia Armed Forces (GAF) to desist from participating in partisan politics.
According to him, it is vital to note that generally, civilians appreciate the military for protecting the territorial integrity of the country and ensuring internal security rather than meddling in politics and governance.
The out-going commander of the 1st Infantry Battalion made these remarks on Friday at the Yundum Barracks during a farewell ceremony organised by his unit.
He told the soldiers that their main role in this democratic government should be the protection of the constitution, the government in power and the people of the Republic of The Gambia. Failure to perform this role or duties, he said, would constitute blatant violation of the constitution of the Republic of The Gambia.
However, he went on, with his experience as battalion commander at 1st Infantry Battalion, saying he has no doubt that they would perform their constitutional mandate in the new dispensation as expected from them.
He further expressed hope that soldiers of the 1st Infantry Battalion would continue to lead the way to greater success. "I therefore, tasked you people to lead the way in this new democratic dispensation to show loyalty, protect the new government and the constitution of The Gambia," he emphasized.
Colonel Sait Njie recalled that during his four years tenure under his leadership, the battalion had engaged in series of indoor and outdoor activities and registered successes in many areas despite the climate of fear that surrounded training in the battalion during the former government as they conduct annual training.
Colonel Njie revealed that when he took over as CO of 1 Infantry Battalion in 2013, guards in this location were living in a very bad condition. "They were dumped inside tents that were very hot and were often blown off by wind during the raining season; we therefore, have to put our plans quietly so that we come out with permanent structures, of which we were able to build guard rooms," he disclosed.
At the battalion headquarters level, he stated, they constructed toilets and bathing facilities at all the internal guard post around the perimeter of the barracks. This enables the guards to have access to toilet facilities rather than using the bush to take bath or defecate.
For his part, the incoming CO of Yundum Barracks Lieutenant Colonel Babucarr Sanyang spoke at length on the significance of the day. He commended the GAF high command for the trust and confidence they bestowed on him to command the 1st Infantry Battalion.
"With the guidance of the outgoing CO, I got enough briefing and based on his briefing, I now think am better informed about the 1st Infantry Battalion," he said, noting that Colonel Njie has highlighted so many things and he was very impressed with his leadership qualities.
Therefore, he assured to start from where Colonel Njie stops with the support and commitment of the officers and other ranks in the 1st Infantry Battalion. He expressed hope that he would achieve something.
At the end of the farewell ceremony, Captain Sering Jallow gave the vote of thanks.
About Colonel Njie and Lieutenant Sanyang
Colonel Sait Njie was enlisted in the GAF on 1st May 1996 and since then he embarked on series of training within and outside the country, while the incoming CO of 1 Infantry Battalion Lieutenant Babucarr Sanyang was enlisted in the Gambia National Army in 11 August 1984 and did his training under the British Army Training Team.