By Makutu Manneh & Isatou Kanyi
Outgoing Chief of Defence Staff, Lieutenant General Massaneh N. Kinteh on Tuesday 17th March 2020 handed over the command of the Gambia Armed Forces to Major General Yakuba A. Drammeh.
The event was attended by former Chiefs of Defense Staff of the Gambia Armed Forces, Babucarr Jatta and Lang Tombong Tamba and other officials.
“In order to redeem our image as the people’s armed forces, GAF must remain apolitical,” Major General Drammeh said.
He said they must be professionally responsive in the discharge of their constitutional roles whereas commanders at all levels were enjoined to remain officers and soldiers and under command to remain non-partisan.
Major General Yakuba Drammeh said under his tenure as CDS, his main priority will be based on the living and working conditions of members of the armed forces.
“General Drammeh is no stranger to this job and most especially in his new role as Chief of Defense Staff of the Gambia Armed Forces,” Massaneh said.
Kinteh said he leaves the armed forces with a competent and seasoned military General who has supported him and that Yakubu has been the mover and shaker of the Armed Forces.
He further said he is leaving the armed forces with a highly transformed, motivated, apolitical, non-tribally inclined and fully equipped force that is prepared to execute its constitutional roles.
He added that the armed forces are contributing meaningfully to national development and playing key roles in the maintenance of regional and global peace and stability at the same time subjected to democratic civilian control and accountability.
The ceremony was done in a very colorful manner. The outgoing CDS handed over the baton of command to the incoming CDS. The armed forces flag was also lowered to replace it with a new one.
Major General Yakubu A. Drammeh said his institution would want to have an open-door policy with the media.
The army chief encouraged journalists to contact the Armed Forces when they need information about the army.
He said he cherishes the cordial relation that exists between the armed forces and the media.
Major Drammeh, who was serving as deputy chief of defence staff succeeds Lt. Gen. Masanah Kinteh. He was appointed chief of defence staff of the Gambia armed forces by the president a few days ago.