Election Night 2016: What really happened before Jammeh accepted painful defeat

Written by Saja

Shocking details are emerging about what happened behind closed doors on Election Night, before the chairman of the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) mustered the courage and announced Adama Barrow as the winner of the presidential election.

Former president Yahya Jammeh and some of his closest aides, notorious among them Seedy Njie, allegedly made several attempts to push through recounts in several constituencies, where Jammeh lost to the coalition leader, Adama Barrow.

A source revealed that Alieu Momarr Njai, under severe pressure, nearly succumbed to their request if it wasn’t for the intervention of his deputy, Malleh Sallah.

“Malleh prevailed upon his chairman to respect the will of Gambian voters. He assured him that under the heaven, above the heaven and under the earth and waters below the earth they would stand by him comes rain or sunshine.”

After realising that his handpicked IEC chairman was reluctant to help him rig the election and remain in State House for another five years, Jammeh went into a vitriolic rage.

“This is why it took very long before the final results were announced,” said another source.

Former nominated National Assembly member, Seedy Njie, who is said to be related with Alieu Momarr Njai, also tried to convince him to accept Jammeh’s coaxing and plea for recount but the old man won’t budge.

“Seedy was going in and out of his office trying to leverage his influence as Njie’s family member to thwart the will of Gambian voters.”

The IEC chairman was allegedly a nervous wreck on election night. He never for once imagined that he would preside over an election that would turn into a political funeral for one of Africa’s longest presidents.

One of the country’s most famous young journalists who witnessed the drama that unfolded at the Election House, Omar Wally told What’s On-Gambia: “It was a well-covered election and any rigging would have attracted huge media attention.”

“IEC should be commended for their bravery.”

It wasn’t until on Friday after midday that Alieu Momarr Njai went live on GRTS to announce to the world, Adama Barrow as the winner of the December 1 Elections. He thanked the former president for conceding defeat.