The five-man Commission, led by Chairperson Emmanuel Joof – a seasoned human rights lawyer – on Thursday morning swore to the oaths of office, allegiance, and secrecy in front of a cross section of high level government officials, family members, and well wishers.
In his congratulatory remarks, the President described the ceremony as a “historic milestone” in fulfillment of the human rights obligations of the government. He pledged that his government would ensure the independence and autonomy of the commission in executing its mandate. He also promised that government would render all the necessary support, be it moral or financial, to the commission in realization of its objectives.
The President highlighted that all categories of citizens would look up to the commission for the protection of their individual and collective rights, imploring on the commissioners to deal with all complaints “fairly and objectively, regardless of the identity, ethnic or political backgrounds” of complaints.
According to the Minister of Justice, the swearing in reaffirmed the fidelity of the government to the values and principles of good governance and democracy. He explained that the ceremony epitomes that The Gambia is reclaiming it’s rightful place in Africa as one of the leading bastions of democracy and rule of the law.
Speaking on behalf of the new commissioners, Chairperson Joof said, although it’s the state’s primary responsibility to protect human rights, he would urged all citizens to remain steadfast in upholding the rule of the law and human rights at all times.