(JollofNews) – The chairman of the Gambia’s Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) said he is undecided about returning to work after the government lifted a two-week military blockage of his office.
Alieu Momarr Njie said he is consulting with members of his staff before a making a decision whether to return to work or not.
On December 13th, armed security forces took the over the headquarters of the electoral commission and barred staff from entering the building after President Yahya Jammeh refused to accept his loss in recent elections.
But on Wednesday the government said in a media statement that it was lifting the blockage and urged staffers to resume to work with “immediate effect”.
The government said it took the decision to shut down the commission head office due to an imminent security threat that ‘the building was going to be burnt down’. It did not name where the information came from or the person or group responsible.
“Now that the threat has abated, the IEC head office will reopen. However, there will be visible security presence around the compound,” the government said.
But responding to the media statement, Mr Njai said he is discussing with his colleagues to see whether they can return to work while there is a visible military presence at the building.
“For us we were surprised that they even closed the offices without giving us any reasons,” he said in an interview with the Dakar based West Africa Democracy Radio (WADR).
“Well there is this press release that we should return to work immediately. It came too late on Wednesday to alert all the staff to return to work on Thursday but we may be going to work God willing on Tuesday.
“I don’t know in the first instance why they closed the offices and now they are saying we can return to work but the military will be there. I will be discussing with my officials to see whether we will feel comfortable in an environment full of military officers.
“Who has the interest to blow the IEC building into ashes and why? Blowing the IEC was never going to change the results.”