The Gambian government has for the first time in over three decades handed security of the presidency to the police force.
This decision is said to have been communicated by the presidency during a meeting president Adama Barrow had with the top hierarchy of the Gambian police force earlier this week.
In his address to the police hierarchy, he said: “Under the past regime, the image of the Police in the public domain was quite negative. It was clouded with mistrust and disrespect, particularly because of the perception of corruption created in the minds of civilians by some irresponsible personnel.
“The challenge now is for the Police to demonstrate that it is a disciplined and trustworthy law enforcement institution capable of building public confidence and regaining its positive image and past glory.
Welcoming the move, Interior ministry reiterated that entrusting the security of the presidency with the police demonstrated the confidence the presidency had with the police force.
Former president Yahya Jammeh, a former military man, extensively used the military as his preferred personal security.
The military under Jammeh were a feared unit of the security forces. They were severally accused by human rights groups of carrying out human rights abuses under the instructions of Jammeh.
Most African leaders especially in Anglophone nations have often handed presidential security duties to the army whiles the police takes charge of the vice-president.