Adama Barrow, the president of the Republic of The Gambia has said cabinet members and those in government should be apolitical as regards the welfare of the people who have mandated them to run their affairs.
"We must not send mixed or conflicting messages to the public. On the contrary, we must be seen as a united body, pursuing the same goals and speaking with one voice so that the public can follow suit. To put it bluntly, we must be truly honourable and exemplary in character," he said.
Barrow was speaking on Thursday morning at State House in Banjul while presiding over the swearing in ceremony of the newly appointed vice president, four Cabinet ministers and four permanent secretaries.
The appointees are: Dr. Isatou Touray, the vice president, the minister of Health and Social Welfare Ahmadou Lamin Samateh, Fatou Kinteh minister of Women, Children and Social Welfare, Amie Fabureh minister of Agriculture and Lamin Jobe minister of Trade, Industry, Regional Integration and Employment. They both took the oaths of Allegiance, Office and Secrecy.
In the same vein, the newly appointment permanent secretaries: Saikou Kawsu Gassama at the Office of the President, Salimatou Touray Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Sulayman Omar Njie Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Mod Secka at the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs also took the oaths of Allegiance, Office and Secrecy.
In The Gambia, Barrow added, 'our shared values are not limited to loving, caring and sharing only. They include honesty, sincerity and developing a sense of belonging to a community composed of diverse groups.'
"Those of us in government should live by these values, and refrain from seeking to divide the nation along partisan lines. When political gains and political beliefs or ambitions come first, we will divide the people along party affiliation, ethnicity or other social divides which are unacceptable," he warned.
"It is obvious that all citizens are entitled to their views and ambitions, including the desire to lead. However, good citizenship is not all about leadership, nor is it about having one's way all the time."
"It is a betrayal of trust to belong to a group, yet openly or secretly oppose its ideals, objectives, values, agenda and what it stands for. In other words, one cannot operate in Cabinet, or within a government system, and seek to undermine it in order to pursue any other interest."
VP Isatou Touray on behalf of the appointed ministers thanked President Barrow for the trust and confidence reposed in them, while assuring him of their continuous support towards the realisation of 'our development aspirations.'
"The Gambia's best moment has come for strategic changes and direction under the leadership of President Barrow. I have seen and observed your commitment, conviction and resolve to move The Gambia forward for its people and the future generation," she said.