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IEC Chairman Alieu M. Njai is News & Report’s Person of The Year (2016)

Mar 31, 2017, 9:44 AM

The Chairman of the Gambia’s Independent Electoral Commission (IEC), Mr Alieu Momarr Njai, has been designated “Person of the Year 2016” by the Gambia News and Report Weekly Magazine, for the manner he handled the hotly contested 2016 Presidential Election in which the candidate of the opposition coalition Mr Adama Barrow was declared winner, by the Commission.

In a letter conveying the news to the electoral body’s boss, who once served as an IEC Commissioner, and also Acting Mayor of the Kanifing Municipal Council (KMC), Mr Swaebou Conateh of the Dippakunda-based Gambia Communication Agency and Baroueli Enterprises, the publishers of “The News and Report” weekly magazine, stated that Chairman Njai’s selection was because of “how you efficiently handled the race to the country’s highest political office, thereby enhancing people’s trust and confidence in the electoral system”.

“The on-the-spot counting of votes at the respective polling stations had enabled the electorate to know the results as per polling station even before they reached you as the Returning Officer and this had earned you commendation from different quarters.”

The management of “The Gambia News and Report Weekly Magazine” is satisfied that you have met the criteria for the award, and in view of the fact that:

1. Your case also illustrates possibilities for individual citizens who care enough about their country’s standing in the democratization process and points to the importance of putting nation before self-through strength of character, sacrifice and courage.

2. By such example, you have earned for yourself a name and an indelible place in our country’s history as electoral Commission chairman who introduced on-the-spot counting in the Gambia’s democratic dispensation.

“Since we also believe that, like some other prominent leaders of the past, your story will remain for all Gambians, as a man who mustered the courage by accepting the challenges of presiding over the 2016 Presidential election, and who stood by his principles—we take this opportunity to salute you for your courage and determination in presiding over a violence-free and transparent presidential election.

“The management of “The Gambia News and Report” weekly magazine being thus satisfied that you have met the requirements to be designated the magazine’s “Person of the Year 2016,” now congratulate you must heartily on your selection and designation. Congratulations on your well-merited recognition.”

Previous ‘Person of The Year’s winners include Amadou Samba (businessman); Pa Sallah Jagne (former IGP); late Dr. Ebrima Samba (formerly of WHO); late Dr. Lenrie Peters (medical practitioner); Lamin Waa Juwara (politician); Mrs. Isatou Njie-Saidy (former Vice-President); Bye Lamin Jobe (then of Gamworks); Mrs. Harriet Ndow (educationist); late Imam Karamo Touray (religious leader); Justice Hassan Jallow (present Chief Justice); Ousman B.‘Fisco’ Conateh (community leader); Muhammed Jah (Quantumnet); late Deyda Hydara (journalist); Pa Sallah Jeng (former Banjul Mayor); Bolong Sonko (former cabinet minister) and Mustapha Njie, alias Taf, (businessman-joint winners); Yahya Jammeh (former president); Dr. Isatou Touray (gender-activist); Jaliba Kuyateh (kora maestro); late Bishop Solomon Tilewa Johnson (religious leader); Mr. Ibrahim Ceesay (young film director) Momodou Turo Darboe (businessman); and Bakary Papa Gassama (international football referee).