Sheriff Bojang explains why he ditched Jammeh

Gambia’s former Information Minister who resigned from President Yahya Jammeh’s cabinet in protest of the longtime ruler’s refusal to step down says his former boss’ election petition is an attempt to undermine Gambian people.

“The current attempts while appearing to have a veneer of constitutionalism are in fact an attempt to subvert the express will of the Gambian electorate,” Bojang said. “The people have spoken and they could not have spoken louder and clearer. They want change.”

The former minister who served for two years in Jammeh’s cabinet had not attended cabinet meetings since Jammeh’s rejection of the results last month. He is urging his colleagues to “look into their conscience and take the right decision within the most reasonable time for the present and the future” of the country whose political stability has been thrown into question.

Gambia’s recalled Ambassador to the U.S. Sheikh Omar Faye accused some few people close to the outgoing President Yahya Jammeh of influencing him to stay in power for their own “selfish interest.”

Although Bojang said “it is never too late to do the right thing,” his defection does not seem enough for activists to let go of criticism surrounding his defense of President Yahya Jammeh’s controversial decisions.

While being information minister, Mr. Bojang denied knowledge of the torture death of a senior opposition member, Ebrima Solo Sandeng and called the International Criminal Court an “International Caucasian Court.”

Sheriff Bojang is the proprietor of The Standard Newspaper, prior to his appointment as Information Minister following a botched coup launched in the dying days of 2014. He has served in the post from 2015 to date despite calls on him to switch loyalty following the vitriolic verbal attack by President Jammeh on the majority Mandingo tribe, as well as a refusal to accept December election results which he initially conceded.

(Reporting and Writing by Sam Phatey; Additional Writing by Sainey Darboe; Editing by Alhagie Jobe)

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