As the Security Sector Reform (SSR) is gradually taking shape, the National Security Adviser Momodou Badgie has said that low salaries is fueling corruption, and recommendations have been made in the assessment report to address this issue.
President Adama Barrow’s National Security Adviser made these remarks during a press conference held on Wednesday at the Joint Officer’s Mess in Kotu, about 9km away from Banjul.
The tiny West African nation ended Yahya Jammeh’s 22-year rule in December 2016 heralding a new democratic dispensation. The new regime is pushing ahead with a major plan to restore democratic governance and rule of law with the collaborative effort of development partners, including the United Nations. An ambitious Security Sector Reform (SSR) was launched last year with a view to creating an efficient and accountable security sector.
Badgie said there is general call regarding the issue of low perks and agreed that it constitutes one of the factors that is encouraging corruption in the country’s security apparatus
“We have security personnel who are law-abiding and respect human rights. But equally we have those who have been contravening the rules,” he stated. “We will inform the authorities accordingly.”
He went further to say that the ongoing SSR is all about democratisation, and expressed their resolve to change the mindset of the security apparatus.
“The security is now moving from a State-centric relational approach to a People-centric approach,” Badgie emphasized.
When asked about reports of salary deductions that have recently hit members of The Gambia Fire and Rescue Services, Badgie said the issue is news to him and promised that the matter will be investigated by the Office of National Security in order to find out whether it is a fact or an allegation.
Weighing in on the major reforms that are going to be initiated, the National Security Adviser announced the formulation of a national security policy with its strategic and legal framework for all the institutions.
He reiterated the commitment of members of the Office National Security to scale up the reforms highlighted in the SSR assessment report.