By MUHAMMED S. BAH
An announcement on GRTS television on Saturday, 17 September 2016 – a non-working day, revealed that Mr. Ousman Sonko, one of the longest serving cabinet ministers in the APRC government has been relieved from his post as Minister of the Interior and replaced by Momodou Alieu Bah, who up to the time of his appointment was the Director of Finance of the Gambia Armed Forces (GAF) at Defence Headquarters.
Mr. Sonko was first appointed as minister of interior in November 2006 replacing Baboucarr Jatta, a former army commander.
He was removed and then reinstated to replace Lamin Kaba Bajo on 3 February 2012 for barely a week only to be redeployed as ambassador to Spain replacing Kebba Touray on 9 February 2012.
He was again reappointed on 7 May 2012 to the same interior portfolio where he was serving until his removal on Saturday.
Mr. Sonko was enlisted in 1988 and promoted to second lieutenant in 1991 from where he rose to different ranks and positions, including the Commanding Officer – State Guard Battalion as a major, being made the Inspector General of police. It was from here that he was appointed as a cabinet minister.
Mr. Bah, the newly appointed interior minister, was a serving member of the armed forces and was one time convicted and sentenced to serve 25 years in prison for involvement in 21 March 2006 foiled coup attempt. He was released on a presidential pardon in 2009 and reinstated in the armed forces.