Breaking News:Was IEC Boss Mustapha Carayol Fired or did he Jump?
By Gainako’s Banjul Correspondence
News reaching Gainako reveals that Mustapha Carayol, Chairman of Gambia’s Independent Electoral Commission (IEC), was contemplating submitting his resignation with Jammeh’s tyranny last week when all of a sudden his removal letter met him at his residence. Details surrounding Carayol’s removal are sketchy. Gainako gathered that after the ultimatum to de-register all political parties in the Gambia by March 31st 2016 if they fail to meet certain criteria like having campaign offices and certain number of voters in constituencies, as earlier on announced by the IEC, which is a harsh directive from Gambia’s criminal ruler Yahya Jammeh, which the opposition didn’t meet as of the date line, made Carayol inconvenienced and called in sick at work. Jammeh saw Carayol’s refusal to de-register and calling in sick as a sabotage of his order to de-register the political parties and as a result sent Carayol his marching orders.
One Alieu M. Njie, a current serving member of the IEC, has been named as his successor with immediate effect. This roving reporter is privy to the fact that Alieu M. Njie was once accused of financial crime and his trouble with the APRC at the time is an open secret. How Alieu M. Njie agreed to be recycled by Jammeh’s administration remains a common place in today’s Gambia, entirely at the mercy of Jammeh’s tyranny. It is not clear if Alieu M. Njie will go ahead and execute Jammeh’s instruction to de-register political parties that didn’t meet the registration time and other harsh requirements, but Njie’s acceptance of the position already puts him in a hotspot especially in an election year slated for December 2016, which is less than seven (7) months for Presidential elections.
Carayol who have been heading the IEC for a while will go down in history as one of Jammeh’s Chief Enablers who greatly enabled and abetted the Jammeh tyranny. In numerous occasions, Gambia’s Opposition complained that their call for electoral reform through the IEC has been ignored by the IEC and there isn’t a level playing field.
News of Carayol’s removal has been received with mixed feelings especially on social media where Diaspora Activists vented out on their outrage. What wasn’t initially clear was whether he retired or that he was fired. Prior rumors has it that he was fired is now sketchy as Gainako attentively reports that Carayol indeed contemplated submitting his resignation. As with all Jammeh employees, no one is allowed to resign honorably. As soon as you submit a resignation or the administration suspects that you are about to resign, they will mockingly announce that you have been “sacked with immediate effect,” which is believed to be the case for Mustapha Carayol. By all fairness, snapshot of the reactions shows that Gambians are really tired of Carayol and were happy about his exit. It remains to be seen if Carayol’s fall out with Jammeh will put him in further trouble as with all Jammeh’s workers better described as “A bad workman quarrelling with his tools.”
It remains to be seen if Gambia’s Citizens and the Opposition will accept Njie as a replacement because he lacks the much needed neutrality and credibility needed for IEC’s chairman, if elections are to be conducted free and fair. All indications are that Alieu M. Njie is a die-hard APRC enabler as he demonstrated over the years, rising to Deputy Mayor of KMC. I
n an editorial published by Gainako two weeks ago on the IEC and Carayol, source https://gainako.com/mustapha-carayol-iec-chair-set-to-go-down-in-history-as-the-biggest-suppressor-of-democracy-in-gambia/, this paper argued that Carayol will be remembered as “…as the biggest suppressor of democracy in the Gambia.” This roving reporter is privy to many citizens that reached out to Carayol and his family to pressure him to step down. It is not certain if that influenced his decision to finally rescue himself from further disrepute and embarrassment.