Yankuba Sonko, Gambia’s Inspector General of Police (IGP), has said he is happy to serve under the current president Adama Barrow, despite being appointed by the former leader Yahya Jammeh.
Whiles admitting that the president could fire him, he believes his competence is enough to serve. “If the president feels I am incompetent to head the police he should fire me but if he also feels I am competent enough, why should he sack me,” Sonko is quoted to have said.
He is the second high-profile security chief who has kept his position since Barrow took over the reigns of government. The Chief of Defense Staff, Ousman Badjie has also been retained by Barrow.
If the president feels I am incompetent to head the police he should fire me but if he also feels I am competent enough, why should he sack me.
The Gambian police on Tuesday announced the arrest of the former head of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA), Yankuba Badjie. The NIA is seen as the security outfit reportedly used by Jammeh to arrest, detain and torture political opponents and sections of the media.
The police under Jammeh’s watch were also accused of violation of rights of detainees. Local media reports that police physically assaulted detainees, held them without charges for long periods in dehumanizing conditions.
The police chief’s former boss, Jammeh’s Interior Minister, Ousman Sonko, is currently held by Swiss authorities on charges of crimes against humanity. Jammeh is currently in exile in Equatorial Guinea.
He agreed to leave the country he ruled for 22 years after mediation efforts by Presidents of Guinea and Mauritania. At the time, ECOWAS forces were on standby to oust him after he lost December 2016 polls – conceded and tried to reverse his decision.