(JollofNews) – The Gambian head of electoral commission has used his first interview with a Gambian newspaper to reveal how former President Yahya Jammeh had tried to get him kill in a desperate bid to cling to power.
Alieu Momarr Njai, who presided over last December’s election in which Mr Jammeh was defeated by an alliance of opposition parties headed by Adama Barrow, said agents of the regime had tried to kill him after he refused to doctor the election results.
He added when Mr Jammeh realised that he was losing to the opposition including in his own stronghold, he tried to use the security agents to force him to change the results in his favour. He added that the plan was for him to come up with his own figures different from those sent from polling stations across the country.
“It will then take them a day or two to come with all the results in possession of party agents. They will then be collated and it will be discovered that it’s Jammeh who won not the Coalition,” he told the Standard Newspaper.
Mr Njai said he refused and was put under so much pressure to an extent that he thought he was going to be killed on the night of the election.
“It got to a point I feared for my life. My son, Omar, has a black Audi and I was able to use another phone to call him to park the car near IEC, so that when it comes to the point, I could disappear,” he added.
Mr Njai said despite the threats and intimidation, he refused to yield. And as he continued to announce the correct results, he was asked to take a break.
He added: “We were receiving the results as they were coming and we were asked to suspend [the announcement of the results] on the orders of the president, through GRTS. I know my life was at risk. That was why whenever they asked me to do something I would go downstairs where everybody was present and say this is what I am being asked to do loudly. Because whatever I was doing, it was monitored, so that they would know that I am passing over their message. The risks! I could have been injected to have a heart attack. But how can I change the result?”
He added that he refusal to yield had forced Mr Jammeh to concede defeat to the opposition on national television.
“I’m God-fearing and anybody who knows me is well aware of my participation in religious affairs. I thank God, that although I am over 80 years-old, I am very strong and would not have changed the results even if Jammeh were to give me a billion Dollars.
Mr Njai, added that the threats to his life got worse after Mr Jammeh rejected the results after conceeding defeat.
“The election happened on 1st December and ended on 2nd December but I was[in the country until 31st January. But I got the information that they were going to kill me… or yeah, he was going to kill me. I phoned the Senegalese ambassador to the Gambia, Saliou Ndiaye, of and told him that they were coming for me and I didn’t want to go to any foreign embassy, I wanted to go to Senegal. He drove to my house, picked me up and he was in the same car with me, foot-to-foot all the way to Karang.
“While in Senegal they gave me a general by the name Niang. General Niang provided for me round-the-clock escort and security. I also knew President Barrow, when he went to Mali and later travelled to Senegal, if he had landed in the Gambia, no matter how many people were going to be around him, he was going to be killed. They would have exterminated him. That was why he was moved to Senegal. So I stayed [in Senegal] until Yahya Jammeh was out of the Gambia and eventually came home.
“Look, six months after the election, my personal orderly who I inherited from the former chairman, ran away. Yes! He ran away because when they were investigating what was happening at Kanilai, he was found to be one of the leaders of the ‘Junglers’. And I knew he was one of them.”