The chairman of the Independent Electoral has revealed for the first time on tape that President Jammeh and his men tried to make him change the results of the 1 December 2016 presidential election.
Speaking to journalist Nicolas Hague for the Talk to Aljazeera programme on September 14, Alieu Momarr Njie, stated: “It was very difficult. There were moves to get me to change the results. They were here [in the IEC building]… I stood up against them, I could have lost my life. I stood up.”
Despite the journalist’s persistent questioning Mr Njie refused to give specific details of how the former president or his men tried to make him change the results.
But he explained: “He never thought that he would lose the election. He wasn’t prepared for that at all. But also for me I feel that if the Gambians decide to say this is it, I need to accept their will and transmit that will and announce the results as they came in. I had undergone stress because there were moves to get me change the results. And can you imagine if I had changed the results how people would have suffered for the next five years?”
Asked at what point he knew Yahya Jammeh lost the election, Mr Njie said: “I was the last to know. He knew he had lost well before I announced all the results. I’m the last to know because the results are collated in the different regions and they are sent by fax to me here. But in each polling station there are party agents and they would phone their respective offices for them to know the result of that particular polling station and he [Jammeh] knew well in advance that he had lost and they were pressing for me to increase the number of votes for him to continue and I refused. He knew he had lost because when they were collated by his own people, he knew he had lost.”
Sheriff Bojang, the proprietor of this newspaper was the Information minister at the time. When contacted yesterday for comment on Mr Njie’s statement he explained: “In the cabinet room that night, we had two groups collating the results and I headed one of them.
From the results we were getting from our agents and the trend and pattern of the results streaming in, by 2am on Friday, we knew he would not win and we urge his secretary who was with us to send him a memo to his office telling him he was going to lose. The lady did so and Jammeh came out half-an-hour later and swore that he would not cheat and would accept the verdict of the people. We rose up and applauded. Actually, when we did the final collation, Barrow had won by the same 18,000 plus votes initially announced. So it was clear to all of us that Jammeh lost. The people who tried to pressure Mr Njie in changing the results and the people who finally got Jammeh to change his mind and refuse to accept the election result did the country a great disservice. You cannot subvert the expressed will of the people so brazenly. From the day he rejected the result, I boycotted and refused to go to cabinet and later resigned and left the country. We crowned ourselves in inglory.”
Mr Bojang posited.