The Gambia Armed Forces (GAF) on Monday bade farewell to one of the longest serving Chiefs of Defense Staff, Lt. General Ousman Bargie in a symbolic and emotional ceremony.
Bargie who served as Army chief since the former regime of Yahya Jammeh is now deployed to the Foreign Service by the new President Adama Barrow. He is been replaced by former Military aide Masanneh Kinteh, who in fact handed over the mantle of leadership of GAF to Bargie some years back after after he was also sent to the Foreign Service.
Speaking to journalists at the ceremony, Bargie expressed delight for serving the nation in that capacity and yet still trusted and deployed for another assignment.
“I feel very very happy today as the day I was appointed as the Chief of Defense Staff. I am equally happy that I am relieved off that post and re-assigned to another new life. I am extra delighted in the sense that somebody I trained in the army has been my CDS and I took over from him and is again coming back to take the mantle of leadership of GAF. This is the happiest moments in my life” he said.
Dilating on his biggest achievements during his period as Army Chief, Bargie said is the maintenance of peace throughout the political impasse that everybody thought would have ended in bloodshed.
“My biggest achievement as CDS is that on the contrary of what everyone was expecting that war is inevitable, I said Allah will bless this country and it has happened. Even if I die today, I am happy” he said.
He described his stance during the impasse as a professional manner, distanced himself from politics and followed the Constitution.
“Don’t look for money, fame or anything. Follow the black and white paper and remember that you took the Quran or Bible and swore to the Almighty Allah that you will defend the Constitution and integrity of this country and nothing else. I took my stance effective December 2nd, when Barrow was President-elect and Jammeh was incumbent. I was dancing for President Barrow. So, I took a decision long since but people could not understand me” he said.
He issued his last message by calling on all Gambians to support the new government saying the welcome accorded to President Barrow should translate into development.
“We need to work for The Gambia not President Barrow” he concluded.