By Abdoulie John

President Adama Barrow has urged Gambians to demonstrate commitment to national interest in making sure that they put the country first in carrying out their duties.

“Together, we should rededicate ourselves to serving the national interest in all our engagements, and avoid all negative and selfish attitudes and actions,” the Gambian leader said during the swearing-in ceremony of a new Vice President, Cabinet Ministers, Government Spokesperson, and a Permanent Secretary held Monday at State House, Banjul.

Last week, President Barrow made a major cabinet reshuffle, leading to the sacking of former Vice President Aja Fatoumata Tambajang and Agriculture Minister Omar Amadou Jallow, both members of Coalition 2016 that uprooted Yahya Jammeh’s two-decade long dictatorship. The move raised eyebrows in some quarters but was seen by some observers as a reaffirmation of Barrow’s leadership at a time the country is facing mounting challenges.

President Barrow further stated that the pledge made by his government to engage in institutional and legal reforms provides them with the mandate to work hard in order to achieve the goal set out by the new regime.

“We have to ensure that we leave behind a legacy of strong and sustainable institutions, effective laws and the right procedures that will transform our country into a fully-fledged democracy and facilitate social, economic and political development for our people,” he remarked.

Barrow’s government inherited massive problems caused by Yahya Jammeh’s anti-West diatribe that plunged the tiny West African nation into an era of anxiety.

Gambian leader expressed hope that Cabinet ministers will re-new their commitment to hard work, and focus on having a unified purpose for the realization of the country’s National Development Plan (2018-2021).

“As a government, we have the singular responsibility to make this country a shining example of development, democracy, rule of law and peaceful co-existence that would make us a model in the sub-region and beyond,” Barrow reiterated.

Speaking earlier, Gambia’s newly appointed Vice President thanked President Barrow for giving him the opportunity to serve the country at the top of the chain of command. “As your Vice President, I pledge to stand by every weaken moment to help you,” VP Ousainou Darboe said with emphasis.

Over these past twenty years, United Democratic Party (UDP)) leader has been among the political figures who led Gambians in their fight against tyranny. His appointment is expected to bring about  synergy in a government that is going through crisis management.

VP Darboe made it very clear that he would always stand by Adama Barrow as he pushes ahead with any agenda that promotes diversity, rule of law and democracy.

“We are determined to surmount each and every challenge however difficult it may be,” Mr. Darboe, a former Foreign Affairs Minister, said. He stated the Cabinet members today’s event is far from being a mere ritual.

Other government officials who have been sworn into office included Minister of Information and Communication Infrastructure Ebrima Sillah; Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs Mambury Njai; Minister of Health and Social Welfare Dr. Isatou Touray; Minister of Agriculture Lamin N.Dibba; Minister of Youth and Sports Hadrammeh Sidibeh; Minister of Trade, Regional Integration and Employment Amadou Sanneh as well as Musa Drammeh who is holding the portfolio of Ministry of Local Government and Lands. Ebrima M.G.Sankareh and Ada Gaye have also taken their oath of office as Government Spokesman and Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Agriculture, respectively.

Ends

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