Benjamin Roberts

(JollofNews) – The Gambia minister of Tourism and Culture has become the latest minister to walk out of the APRC government of President Yahya Jammeh.

Benjamin Roberts who was appointed to the post in September 2014 said he will stepping down from his position on January 18th when Mr Jammeh’s mandate expires.

In his resignation letter to the Secretary General and Head of the Gambian Civil Service, Mr Roberts, who was on Monday named Finance minister said:” As a Gambian guided by the supreme law of the land – The Constitution – I have sought divine guidance and have convinced myself that our country is indeed at a challenging crossroads that warrant tough and painstaking decisions and largely because of the political impasse we currently find ourselves in.

“As per the provisions of the Constitution, my mandate as a state minister ends should the mandate of the president come to an end. In consideration of the aforementioned constitutional provision and in recognition of the unlikeliness of having a ruling before the 18th of January 2017 on both the injunction and the disputed election results filed in the courts, I am compelled by due regard for our constitution, to extend my appreciation to His Excellency, the President, and to thank His Excellency for all the trust, confidence and support His Excellency gave me over the year to effectively  and efficiently deliver the mandate I was entrusted with.”

Mr Jammeh, 51, who has governed the Gambia since July 1994 is due to handover power to opposition candidate Adama Barrow after his surprised defeat in last month’s election.

He is however refusing to relinquish power after accusing the country’s electoral commission of rigging the election in favour of the opposition.

His attempt to overturn the election result at the Supreme Court has been delayed because of a shortage of judges as most of the judges come from neighbouring countries.

But as the crisis deepens with a threat of military invasion by regional group, Ecowas, Mr Jammeh’s ministers are abandoning him in droves. On Monday, four high-profile ministers namely;  Neneh  MMacdouall-Gaye, minister of  Foreign Affairs, Addou Kolley, minister of Finance and Economic Affairs, Abdou Jobe, minister of Trade Industry, Regional Integration and Employment  and Pa Ousman Jarju, minister of the Environment, Climate Change, Fisheries, Water and Wildlife resigned from their posts.