The son of The Gambia’s Independent Electoral Commission Chair’s son made a prediction that the country’s incumbent, President Yahya Jammeh will win a fifth term in a landslide.
Momodou Njie came under criticism and has put his father, electoral chief Alieu Njie in a rather awkwardly unfair position. The Gambia’s electoral commission has been accused of bias and supporting the incumbent.
Alieu Njie before becoming the electoral chairman was once appointed Acting Mayor of the Kanifing Municipality. In the past two years, the switch of his son Momodou Njie from a radical political activist to a moderate negotiator for dialogue and reconciliation raised suspicions that he took the new approach not to jeopardize his father’s chances of becoming the electoral chief.
Before electoral chief Njie promised free, fair and transparent polls, United Democratic Party leader Ousainou Darboe said he will not question Alieu Njie’s integrity and called him a “fine gentleman.” Njie introduced
It is Momodou Njie’s right to talk about the Gambian elections, but when your father takes up a certain job, you stay away from commenting on certain things, including defending him on unsubstantiated claims of “already rigged elections.”
No opposition leader or presidential hopeful has made such remarks and they have applauded Chairman Njie for putting some new measures in place such as counting at polling stations.
Momodou Njie instead finds himself falling for accusations, posting pictures, and videos defending his father and the Independent Electoral Commission. That is a big mistake. Sometimes staying silent speaks a lot rather than give conspiracy theorists and those looking to discredit you the power to do so.
However, Momodou Njie made the biggest flop when he predicted that President Yahya Jammeh will win the elections, although he is facing a united opposition. Jammeh is facing his toughest challenge and winning this election, after denying EU observers permit, will absolutely rule it as rigged, not free and not fair. The voter fraud and rigging are now compounded by Momodou Njie’s prediction. This was not his intention. He was just exercising his right to free speech, forgetting he also has the right to remain silent.