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Baks Touray denies GNOC’s reconciliation claim

Jan 4, 2012, 2:07 PM | Article By: Lamin Drammeh

Abdoulie Touray, president of the Gambia Cycling Association (GCA), has strongly reacted to the reconciliation claim made by the GNOC at a recent press conference, saying “the GNOC’s press conference carried on the media about my reconciliation with them is full of bias information and lies.”

Touray, one time occupant of the GNOC secretary general position, has been involved in a long battle during and after the GNOC election for the top seat, which ended in Momodou Dibba’s victory despite Touray’s decision to boycott the disputed election last February.

Since then, Touray has never seen eye-to-eye with Dibba, making his intention categorically clear that he did not recognise Momodou Dibba as the GNOC president given the fact that the whole electoral process of the hot election was disenfranchise.

The GNOC has since Saturday convened a press conference to divulge the achievements of the new administration since its election into office on 12 February 2011.

The GNOC also used the press conference as an opportunity to distribute a letter of reconciliation to the media for publication. The letter included the signature of Abdoulie Touray, Momodou Dibba and several other members of a mediation and reconciliation mission setup with a view to accessing the situation on the ground.

It was also stated in the letter that the findings and recommendations of the committee be communicated to Africa CGA’s but that is yet to be done.

Upon reading The Point newspaper of Tuesday’s edition on the saga, Touray wasted no time to respond to what he described as “untrue and inaccurate” information about the whole state of affairs.

“We have not - and I repeat - not come to terms with the GNOC,” Touray told The Point.

“What prevailed - and even in the communiqué - is that when the whole saga started, we had requested to the IOC politely without being bias that there is a problem in The Gambia and that they needed to send somebody down to establish the facts so that we can move forward.

“That was not done and the election in October was aborted because it was not free and fair, and as a result it was cancelled.

“Then another election was convened in February which did not go ahead because we boycotted due to the fact that the list was not completed.

“Then moving forward, we sent out three petitions, one to the IOC, one to the president of ANOCA and one to the Ministry of Youth and Sports saying that the last election of the GNOC which we boycotted, even though we had the majority, was not conducted in a level-playing field, and the government in its own wisdom set up a tribunal to look into the saga.

“The IOC wrote to us and said they have noted the outcome of the elections, that they wanted us to reconcile and we said ‘we are not averse to reconciling but please send somebody down to establish the facts on the ground’. And up to today that has not been done,” says Touray, who has made his stance very clear that he would only consider reconciling with the GNOC after the establishment of the facts by the mediation and reconciliation mission led by Dr Kipchoge Keino.

Touray continued: “Going forward, we had this Commonwealth Games’ general assembly in St Kitts but before that I was nominated unopposed by the African CGA but the Gambia CGA wrote and said that they were trying to withdraw my nomination, and they failed.

“So at the regional meeting, we met and I was elected unopposed and in the interest of African oneness, we decided that we should sit and try to amend our differences. We said we have no difficulty in amending our differences but we can only mend our differences once the facts have being established and the truth being said.

“It was then and there that we agreed that Dr Keino would come to The Gambia to establish the facts and once the facts are established, we have all cases for reconciliation but before that we are not considering reconciling.”

The infuriated former GNOC secretary general also used the occasion to voice his dissatisfaction over the “ineligibility” of some voters he believes had voting right in the last GNOC election, such as Musa Casa Taal.

Touray also said that in the sport of football only Seedy Kinteh was eligible to vote at the expense of other qualified voters because, according to him, Mr Kinteh was in support of the present GNOC executive while others who were refused their voting right were not in support of the present executive.