Dr Abubacarr Senghore

(JollofNews) – The Gambia’s minister of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology and Religious Affairs has become the latest minister to resign from the government of President Yahya Jammeh.

Dr Aboubacar Senghore who was appointed to the post last July said he cannot continue with his post beyond the mandate of Mr  Jammeh.

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 Mr Jammeh declaring a state of emergency in the country, Dr Senghore, 49, said while it had been an honour for him to serve the country and oversee the swift propulsion of education, research and science into a soon to be enviable position in the sub-region,  he has been under insurmountable pressure to resign from the 9th December 2016. He said he decided to stay on the post as he was morally and duty bound to continue serving Mr Jammeh until the end of  his tenure.

“Given my strong religious and legal background, I feel it is now ethically and legally speaking time to step down as minister of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology and Religious Affairs as the constitutional mandate of the current government expires today, Wednesday 18th January 2017,” he wrote in his resignation letter to Mr Jammeh.

A PhD holder in International Human Rights Law, Dr Senghore, first joined the Mr Jammeh’s cabinet in November 2013 when he was named minister of Foreign Affairs. He was later moved during a cabinet reshuffle to the Ministry of Higher Education.

Prior to his ministerial appointment, Dr Senghore was Dean of the Faculty of Law of the University of the Gambia, where he worked as a senior lecturer in law, governance and international politics.

He also served as legal and research officer and head of the Legal and Research Department of the African Centre for Democracy and Human Rights Studies in Banjul, from August 1999 – December 2002.

A native of Fass Njaga Choi in the North Bank Region, Dr Senghore also served as a former lecturer in comparative law at the Department of Islamic Law, Faculty of Islamic Revealed Knowledge and Human Sciences of the International Islamic University, Malaysia.