Thursday, July 25, 2024

Lands Minister Sowe Receives Emotional Welcome from Staff After Months of Overseas Treatment

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By: Dawda Baldeh

The atmosphere at the Ministry of Lands, Regional Government, and Religious Affairs was filled with emotions yesterday as their Minister, Honorable Ousman Sowe, returned home after undergoing medical treatment in Saudi Arabia.

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Minister Sowe, who was appointed in August 2023 and sworn in on September 14, 2023, fell ill in the same month after just a month in office. Initially admitted to the Edward Francis Small Teaching Hospital (EFSTH), Minister Sowe was later evacuated to Senegal and finally to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, where he recovered.

Upon visiting his staff at the Ministry after being away for six months, Minister Sowe was warmly welcomed by his team. During a brief meeting, Minister Sowe expressed his gratitude to his Permanent Secretary, Saffie Sankareh-Farage, chiefs, alkalolu, religious leaders, the general staff of the ministry, and the Gambian people for their endless prayers.

He praised God for regaining his health and also expressed his appreciation to the governments of The Gambia, Senegal, and Saudi Arabia for their extraordinary efforts in his treatment. Minister Sowe clarified that he was not there to work that day but rather to visit his family and the Ministry.

“I am not here to work today; I am here to visit my family, I am here to talk to you as my family and give advice,” said Minister Sowe. He reiterated his commitment to promoting teamwork, good leadership, and equal treatment and opportunities.

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“I urge you all to join me in fulfilling our commitment to bettering the lives of Gambians and to take our country to the expectations of all Gambians,” he said. He acknowledged that it would not be an easy task but expressed his confidence in the bond they had built in the ministry, emphasizing that they could achieve the best results by working together as a team.

He reassured his dedication to working for and serving the Gambian people to the best of his ability in bringing about positive change. Minister Sowe praised the Permanent Secretary, Saffie Sankareh-Farage, describing her as a “lioness” and commending her for ensuring that the ministry continued to function in his absence.

Saffie Sankareh-Farage confirmed the concerns of the staff and the Gambian people for the Honorable Minister’s well-being, expressing her readiness to continue the work they had started together. She also thanked her Deputy Permanent Secretaries, Directors, and staff for their support during the Minister’s absence.

Speaking on behalf of the staff, Yerro Sowe expressed their gratitude to God for the Minister’s recovery. He commended the Permanent Secretary for her strength during the difficult moments and for ensuring the ministry remained operational.

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Minister Sowe is now expected to resume work as his ministry was overseen by the Minister of Public Service Babucarr Boye over the past months.

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