As the dust settled from Saturday’s stormy national football elections both eventual winner President Lamin Kaba Bajo and his rival Sadibou Kamaso have addressed the public and stakeholders on the election and wider Gambia football matters.
Bellow we bring the full statements of both men:
GFF President Lamin Kaba Bajo,
leader TEAM -KABA
I wish to extend deepest gratitude and thanks to The Gambia Football Stakeholders for re-electing me and my team with a landslide during Saturday’s elections. This is a manifestation of the trust and confidence you reposed on us as result of your satisfaction with the way we managed the affairs of your organisation, The Gambia Football Federation. The journey which has seen a lot of developments and progress in all components of the development of the game in the country was not without some challenges.
It’s an indisputable fact that the past eight years during which we presided over the management and running of football in the country has ushered in unprecedented development of all aspects of the game in the country which was crowned with our appearance in our maiden AFCON finals in Cameroon earlier this year.
Outstanding amongst the challenges is the long delay in the implementation and completion of some of the infrastructural projects we embarked on few years ago and reasons of which have been advanced to the stakeholders, the direct beneficiary communities, and the greater population at large. Though bitter but the lessons we got from the process make us better and will serve as a guide to us today and in the future. Once again, our deepest and unconditional apologies to all!
Back to the elections, I wish to thank members of my team – Team Kaba, my campaign and media committees, under the able leadership of Chairmen Willie Abraham and Sulayman Sowe respectively for the leadership in the preparations and implementation of our various campaign activities and programs. The resilience, maturity, professionalism, level headedness, commitment and personal sacrifices of the members are highly appreciated and commendable. Thus, our ability to stay focused on our agenda despite several attempts to sway us.
I am highly indebted to you all, comrades.
As for the GFF staff, I recognise your immense contribution to the success of the electoral process.
The GFF Electoral Committee has once again lived up to expectations by conducting a very transparent, free and fair elections, the process of which was above board. I thank you all for the personal sacrifices, tactfulness, professionalism and observance of due process which enabled a smooth process despite a few challenges.
I wish to convey deepest appreciation to FIFA, CAF, the government of The Gambia through the National Sports Council and Gambia National Olympic Committee for their presence as observers of the process which has undoubtedly lent credibility to it.
To our friends in the media, both the conventional media and social media, I say thank you for not only keeping the stakeholders and the general public informed and educated on matters relating to the elections but for keeping us on our toes, which only make us better.
To the general football fraternity and public both home and in the diaspora, your renewed interest and involvement in the electoral process have awakened us more and taught us that we need to buckle up and improve our communication and interactions with you. I wish to assure you that we will certainly improve on this.
To our opponents, I wish to thank you for engaging us more on issues as they relate to the development of the game in the country. I am of the firm belief that you will join us and contribute your quota in this endeavour. At this juncture, I wish to renew my call for all of us to let the past remain in the past and join me and my team to ensure that together we can take the game to another level in the country.
To my family, friends, colleagues, well-wishers and loved ones, I commend and thank you for your resilience, understanding, patience and maturity before and during the campaign. I fully understand your feelings sometimes when certain serious allegations are labelled against us, and the occasional character assassinations against us during the period. It was indeed tough for you. However, we were ready and prepared for the challenges as the Wollof adage goes: “If you carry a hyena on your back, the dogs will certainly bark at you”. These are indeed the prizes of occupying public office. Nonetheless, I wish to reassure you all that I will ever be mindful of the consequences of any wrongdoing whilst in the service of the public. Thus, I will not let you down!!!!
Finally, I wish to reassure the football family, the stakeholders and the general public that we will endeavour with the means at our disposal to ensure a successful implementation of the Manisfeto by which we were voted into office.
Once again, I thank you all.
Sadibou Kamaso leader, Restore Confidence
“On behalf of Team Restore Confidence, I finally take this opportunity to thank stakeholders and the general public for following and supporting our campaign trail.
“Although I did not win the election on August 27th 2022, I still fervently believe I would have won with a landslide if the process leading up to the voting was free and fair.
Our dedication since we decided to run was widely appreciated for our boldness, transparency and objectiveness in identifying the challenges that our football is facing and striving to improve it.
My intention to run for the top GFF job came after careful consideration and many discussions with key stakeholders, current and former GFF officials over the last few months. The message I heard, over and over, was that it is time for a change- as it’s a fact that The Gambia Football Federation has endured a considerable erosion of confidence from the football family, stakeholders and the general public in the governance of the sport.
However, the ideas I seek to achieve in Gambian football do not stop at a certain point; rather, they constitute a fixed approach that I will always be working to achieve.
My campaign was always about giving voice to the stakeholders and raising issues that need to be addressed. I was really ready to save this organization (GFF) and bring back pride and faith from all football fans to what this organization is.
“I want to thank the stakeholders who made the courageous choice to stand with me in support of meaningful change. Although I did not win, you will agree with me that my team and I have set an example for the genuine will to restore confidence in the governance of Gambian Football. It’s not winning that makes a leader, but how committed he is to the game. I will always be a leading light on the field as TRC is here to stay!”
“Gratitude to all those who have prayed for us too even though they do not know any member of our executive personally but their wish was just to see a brighter future in our football”