5 more Land Commission members sworn-in
Wednesday, September 08, 2010
The remaining five members of the commission of enquiry that was set up recently to look into matters of land allocations in the country Tuesday afternoon took two oaths of office and secrecy, at a brief ceremony presided over by the Gambian leader, His Excellency Sheikh Professor Alhaji Dr Yahya Jammeh at State House in Banjul.
Those sworn in on Tuesday are: Inspector Nuha Ceesay, Inspector Lamin Cham, Mustapha Ceesay, Lamin Manneh, and Bakary Bojang. Their swearing in came after four members of the nine-man commission and an ex officio member in the person of the permanent secretary of the Ministry of Local Government and Lands, Saihou Sanyang earlier took oath some few weeks ago. The commission, chaired by Justice Almamy Fanding Taal, a high court judge, will among other things, look into illegal allocations and illegal sales of land in the country.
Speaking at the occasion, President Jammeh congratulated the newly sworn in members and reminded them that the success of the commission also depends on them in view of the fact that they are the ones who are supposed to dig for the truth. He reminded them that they have sworn to do their work without "fear or favour, affection or ill will", and urged them to do their work without looking into anybody's face as during the course of their investigations, they might come across a friend or relative who might have been involved and gotten things illegally.
The terms of reference, according to the president are very clear, which he indicated states that they [commission members] should focus on lands that have been sold by the ministry, looking at layouts, as well as areas where people are living when they are not supposed to be there. "This commission has nothing to do with land disputes between communities, but it will be involved if the dispute in question relates to the land that have been sold illegally by members of the government," he clarified.
The Gambian leader also reiterated that the commission must not be used by people to embarrass others who have done nothing wrong, warning that it will be an offence to give wrong information to the commission just to embarrass someone. While assuring the members of his support, the president urged people to submit correct information to the commission.
Speaking earlier, the vice president and minister of Women's Affairs, Her Excellency Aja Dr Isatou Njie-Saidy also congratulated the newly sworn in members of the Lands Commission, and re-echoed the sentiments expressed by the president. She expressed optimism that once the members have adhered to the oaths taken, receive the necessary support in terms of information from the people, they will accomplish the task assigned to them within the time limit that has been given.
While acknowledging that the task is daunting, the vice president noted that with the collaboration of all those concerned, they will deliver the goods as has been assigned to them. The Attorney General and minister of Justice, Edward Gomez reminded the members of the commission that they have been particularly selected amongst the lot to serve in this noble task, and described their appointments into the commission as a rare opportunity and a mark of recognition and trust bestowed upon them by President Jammeh.
"We are all gathered here one way or the other to serve our beloved country with a sense of patriotism, sincerity, and unwavering commitment. A country moves forward or stagnant depending on those who have been charged with the duty of contributing to good governance," he stated. The swearing in ceremony was administered by the secretary to Cabinet, Ebrima O Camara.
Author: by Hatab Fadera