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City of Banjul
Thursday, October 29, 2020

WE WILL INVESTIGATE ALL CLAIMS

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The Chairman of the National Sports Council George Gomez has said that he has not yet seen any of a flurry of letters sent to his office by stakeholders in West Coast and Lower River Regions complaining about the conduct of the recent football elections in their areas.

Speaking to The Standard yesterday Mr Gomez promised that every complaint lodged in his office would receive due attention and investigated when the need arises.

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Both Lamin Jarjue a defeated presidential candidate in West Coast regional football association and one Jawara Saidykhan of Jarra Kanikunda have called on the NSC and other relevant authorities to look into the recent FA elections held in their regional capitals. Both stakeholders made allegations of flawed election process which officials flatly denied. It also came in the week when the Sports minister Henry Gomez himself declared that there is too much corruption in sports and his office will investigate.

The latest to be copied to all media is that complaint letter of Mr Jawara Saidykhan reproduced below:

 

The Chairman,
National Sports Council

Dear Sir,

The recent Elective Congress held at the Lower River Region is cause for alarm. This Elective Congress is a clear indication of the following:-
(i) Rampart mismanagement and a show of complete disregard for fair and just play;

(ii) Official meddling for the wrong reasons, misrepresentation, misconduct and dishonest imposition of new norms and mores which flouted the LRRFA’S Constitution was on display for all to witness.

It is interesting to note that-

a) With the exception of the 3rd Vice President, Mr. Abdou Ceesay (delegate from Jarra East), Mr. Ansumana Sanneh, who was elected as President, Mr. Buba Saidy and Mr. Akibou Jarjusey as 1st and 2nd Vice Presidents respectively did not attend the congress as a delegate.

Again, Fabakary Drammeh who used Kiang West ticket and voted for the incumbent was not even an authorized delegate.
The above contradicts Sub Section 22.3 of LRRFA Constitution. This states that “Delegates must belong to the member that they represent and have the authority of the appropriate body of that member to attend the General Assembly on its behalf. They must be able to produce evidence of this authorization upon request”.

b) The organizers had the spoils and glamour of elected office attracting them more than doing the right thing. The unprecedented speed and haste shown by in this case only reveals again the lack of attention to Constitutional governance. The Congress was held with only six (6) days notice provided to delegates. The notice letter which was dispatched was dated 4th June 2017 and the Congress was held on the 10th June 2017.

This is in total violation of LRRFA Constitution. Sub-section 24.1 states that “An ordinary General Assembly Meeting shall be held every year by giving a 28 (twenty-eight) days notice in writing to every person entitled to attend”.

c) The following occurrence shows the Gambia Football Association hand at play. A bring in the boys and all will be well approach was their strategy. Mr. Baboucarr Camara a staff at the Gambia Football Association (GFF) headquarters and part of Mr. Kaba Bajo delegation attending LLRFA congress as observers, conducted the election alone as judge and juror in his own court. Mr. Baboucarr Camara has no constitutional authority to become the Presiding Officer. LRRFA Constitutions article 29 clearly states that “Elections shall be conducted by an electoral Committee which shall be elected by the General Assembly one year before the election in compliance with the GFF Electoral Code)”.

d) Literal familiarity and understanding if absent in elective processes which do not involve the show of hands but rather ballot papers can turn out to be very dangerous and open the floodgate of corruption . Because unscrupulous men will always take advantage of this. This was the situation which befell Mr. Bailo Mballow (a delegate from Jarra East). His inability to read and write introduced an opening for misdeameanour. An executive member of GFF, Mr. Alhajie Faye was the protagonist in this matter. Mr. Faye voted on behalf of Mr. Mballow without giving Mr. Mballow any opportunity to have a second person verify what was written on his ballot paper.
Sir, these are not allegations thrown at a process by a losing side crying foul. When as a nation we are proud of our current democratic dispensation, tolerance, peace and progress; these out the limelight elections which are conducted in the manner which they are, blots the image of the country and
football in particular. So I crave your patience to consider this protest as the whole electoral process was very dubious and illegal.

Yours faithfully,

 

Jawara Saidykhan

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