Sacked Gambia Information minister declares support for Barrow

Mr Adama Barrow, the flagbearer of the coalition of the seven opposition political parties in The Gambia, whose poll victory was annulled by President Yahya Jammeh on December 9, 2016. FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

An ex minister who has become the most high-profile defector from Gambian President Yahya Jammeh's government has declared his support for Adama Barrow, the businessman who recently defeated Jammeh at the polls.

Former Information and Communication Minister Sheriff Bojang fled to neighbouring Senegal on Monday after resigning, he said via a Facebook post later that evening.

Bojang said his conscience had overwhelmed him after Jammeh declared he would not step down at the end of his mandate on January 18.

As minister for two years he was Jammeh's mouthpiece for explaining the actions of the regime, including arbitrary detentions, activists' deaths in custody and a crackdown on opposition protests.

"It is never too late to do the right thing," he wrote in the post. "It is my considered opinion and stance that the results of the December 1st election represent a true reflection of the sovereign will of the Gambian people."

A statement on state-run television said Bojang had been sacked and replaced with a National Assembly member who was appointed this month as the ruling party's spokesman.

The former journalist said he did not believe a Supreme Court case, due to begin hearings Tuesday on an election challenge lodged by Jammeh, had any merit.

"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," he wrote.

The court is unlikely to sit as none of the judges ordered to appear have declared their intention to do so, according to Nigerian and Gambian legal experts.

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