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City of Banjul
Thursday, January 21, 2021

Joint Press statement by Buba Bojang and Omar Danso on GFF elections

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 we the concerned aspirant candidates whose nominations according to the release have been accepted by the NC, received with great shock and dismay the exclusion of two other aspirants in the names of Mr Mustapha Kebbeh and Seedy Kinteh. The reasons advanced by the NC were in connection to their past experiences as presidents of GFA/GFF. This action of the NC is not only unconstitutional but a well calculated move aimed at discrediting and damaging the characters of the aforementioned persons for reasons best known to the NC.

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 “In the light of the above, upon serious consultation, we the two concerned candidates and members of our camps have agreed to conduct this press briefing as a way of expressing our concern and condemnation of the injustice meted on our fellow candidates whose constitutional rights have been seriously violated.  This is a very dangerous signal from the NC. For now, it is Kebbeh and Seedy, who knows who will be next? We are indeed very worried and concerned if the NC can deliberately ignore our constitution.

“Genuine candidates in the race, should not only be concerned about a level playing field, but also must see that the playing field is level for the electorate to freely choose their choice. 

 The GFF statutes are very clear on the requirements for members in the GFF Executive Committee. Article 34, paragraph 34.4 : – The members of the Executive Committee shall – (a) Be no younger than 30 years old;                                                                                                                                                                                                          (b) Already have been active in football in the last five years;                                                                                                                                                      (c) Not have been convicted of felony; and                                                                                                                                                                      (d) Be a Gambian and resident in The Gambia.

“It is evident that the duo have met the above requirements and therefore eligible to contest. Again Fifa was also very clear in a letter dated 24th July 2014, to the members in response to their petition on the appointment of the Normalisation Committee.  That the new electoral process about to start will be open to whoever meets the statutory requirements. Here we believed that the statutory requirements referred to the GFF statutory requirements as highlighted above.  At no point in time had Fifa instructed the NC to consider deciding on the nominations of candidates outside the GFF statutes unlike the previous NC who were instructed as follows: “We remind you that among the requirements to be eligible for GFA Executive Committee seat, the candidate should not have been convicted of felony and we anticipate that the different persons who brought GFA into a state of agony because of mismanagement or greed will be prevented from contesting.” It was on this basis that the previous NC set what we called a kangaroo disciplinary committee based on whose recommendations Seedy Kinteh and others were banned. If there would be transparency and fair play, the NC since at the opening of the nominations, should come up with a laid down criteria for qualifications for candidates for the GFF executive committee.

 “We want to observe that our constitution has never been suspended by either the NC or Fifa. That was why the NC has always tried to meet the relevant constitutional requirements to justify its actions. This was demonstrated by the extension of the election date and the opening of the nominations as well as the recent press release on the nominated candidates. Refer to Article 41 para 41.3 and para 41.4 of GFF statutes. Then why on this most important issue, the NC will deliberately put aside the GFF constitution and act otherwise?

“To be the electoral body mandated to conduct this election does not necessary mean that NC can deal with issues outside the GFF constitution in exercising its power. Absolute power can corrupt absolutely. The National Sports Council is watching and keeping quite as well as the Ministry of Youths and Sports.

We conclude by calling the NC to revisit its decision and act in accordance with the constitution of GFF in the soonest possible time, failure of which will give a very bad image to the entire electoral process which will not tell well. We pray that the NC listens to our concerns and act wisely and justly.  Thank you.”

 

 

Buba Bojang                                                                     

Omar Danso

GFF presidential candidates

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