Kurang urges 88-year-old IEC chairman Njai to now retire

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By Alagie Manneh

The chairman of the Independent Electoral Commission, Alieu Momarr Njai who turned 88 yesterday, has been urged once more to retire and hand over the electoral body.

At such age, some are concerned that Chairman Njai’s faculties may not be intact given the rigors involved in managing a national electoral body like the IEC.


Alagie Kurang, leader of the Youth for Change is one of them.  He told The Standard  that while Gambians appreciate Mr Njai for the work he did, particularly in the 2016 presidential election in setting a new democracy, it must be noted that no human being is indispensable and if the government retirement age is 65 and Njai has gone 20 years above that, he should just thank God and give chance to a new generation of leadership.

“A retirement age is for a purpose; it is for people to take a rest when they reach certain age because of the limitations of the job they do and at 20 years above retirement age, that argument becomes even more relevant. So, I don’t think anybody in their reasonable mind will say no to that,” Mr Kurang told The Standard.

He said that if the chairman decides to hand over now, it would be considered a fine approach to preserving his 11-year IEC legacy.

“I think it would be a great thing for his legacy for him to step aside. They always say ‘your best moments are the time to go’. I don’t see what he can do for the country again that he hasn’t done before. It’s the best thing for him, and I believe he will call it a go before the next elections,” he said.