By Kebba Jeffang
President Adama Barrow yesterday appointed and presided over the swearing in ceremony of Lawyer Aboubacarr M. Tambedou as Attorney General at his temporal office at Kairaba Beach Hotel.
Mr. Tambdeou after being sworn in told journalists that his 3 main priority areas as justice minister will be Constitutional review process, law reform including media law as well as reform of state institutions.
His appointment brings the total of cabinet members to 11 ministers and a vice president. The remaining seven cabinet posts are yet to be filled.
Just like the previous ministers, Tambedou swore to work in the best interest of the country without fear or favour and to maintain the secrecy of office.
Addressing the new minister, President Adama Barrow said the appointee was very helpful during the whole transition period and had stood by the Coalition throughout the time.
“Tambedou is a true patriot who loves The Gambia dearly and the country is very important to him and there is no doubt that he will fully serve the country to the best of his ability,” President Barrow remarked.
He added, “the justice system is very important in any society and if you have someone who is willing to work with the Gambian people and who is also good at what he does, The Gambia will surely have the best Justice system ever”.
Meanwhile, President Barrow urges Gambians to exercise patience as they are working towards finalizing the remaining ministerial positions.
“We are taking our time to select the best individuals for the jobs; no rush, no hesitation so therefore, I want Gambians to really exercise patience while this thing is being worked out,” he appealed.
Mr. Ousainou Darboe, The Minister of Foreign Affairs, International Cooperation and Gambians Abroad described the newly sworn minister as a honest, hardworking and courageous person.
He said Mr. Tambedou is not a new face in the law system, adding that he is very versatile in the area that he is given to oversee.
Speaking to journalists shortly after taking his oath of office, the attorney general said his task is to partially restore confidence in the judiciary and justice system. He said he will do his best and that he will engage all the stakeholders in justice process accordingly for better delivery.
Asked about his main priorities as the chief adviser of the president and the government, minister Tambedou said “one of my priority engagements will be on the Constitution as all laws are derived from that. The Constitution is actually the starting point and we will be implementing or starting with the Constitutional review process with a view to ensuring that our Constitution is relevant and serves the purpose for which the Gambians have adopted it in the first place.”
AG Tambedou added that his second priority is to ensure an institutional reform is done. He said Constitutional provisions alone do not guarantee any meaningful change, therefore it will be complemented with Institutional reforms.
“We will ensure that we build robust and independent institutions that will prevent the creation of permissive environment, condone the rule of law and stop the violation of human rights with impunity,” said AG Tambedou.
“And the third area of priority will be law reform particularly in the criminal justice sector and the media law as well. I think it is obvious that you cannot have democracy without the freedom of expression being exercised fully and without reservation. Of course it has to be done in a responsible manner but the cornerstone of any democratic exchange of ideas is to allow the free flow of ideas in the first place,” he concluded.