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GNOC, Baks bury the hatchet

Jan 3, 2012, 3:11 PM | Article By: Lamin Drammeh

The Gambia National Olympic Committee (GNOC) and Abdoulie Touray (aka Baks), who once served as secretary general of the GNOC, have laid to rest their differences by signing a reconciliation letter following several months of intense rivalry between Touray and GNOC president Momodou Dibba.

The two parties were involved in a long battle during and after the campaign for the top seat of the GNOC, which ended in a victory for Momodou Dibba, despite Touray’s decision to boycott the disputed elections last February.

Since then, Dibba has never seen eye-to-eye with Touray, who made his intention categorically clear that he did not recognise Momodou Dibba as the GNOC president given the fact that the whole electoral process for the GNOC presidency was a “farce”.

Baks Touray has since 12 November 2011 signed a reconciliation letter with his comrade Momodou Dibba at the Commonwealth Games Federation’s (CGF) regional meeting for Africa held in St. Kitts to put to rest any ill-feeling between two of the country’s sports icons.

Alhaji Momodou Dibba, president of the GNOC, who welcomed the move, has confirmed to the media at a press conference organised by the GNOC at the weekend saying: “I can confirm to you that Abdoulie Touray has reconciled with the GNOC and it is very important to put away our differences for the way forward of our sport.”

Dibba, who has called on the Gambian people, particularly members of sporting associations, to put the interest of the country before anything else, distributed the letter of reconciliation the two parties, which they wholeheartedly agreed to sign, to journalists who attended the press conference.

The letter included the signature of Mr Keip Keino, chairman of the CGA reconciliation committee, IOC member and president of Kenya NOC Engr Sani M. Ndanusa, member of the CGA reconciliation committee; Nigeria NOC president Ms Matlohang Moiloa-Ramoquro, member of the CGA reconciliation committee president, Lesotho NOC, Mr Gideon Sam, member, CGA reconciliation committee president, South African Sports and Olympic committee, Ms Mariam Z. Moyo, member, CGA reconciliation committee president, Zambia NOC, Peter Prom, secretary, CGA reconciliation committee and the secretary general of the Gambia National Olympic Committee.

The letter reads:

During the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) regional meeting for Africa held on Wednesday 9 November 2011 at the Marriott Hotel in St Kitts, the meeting noted with deep concern the situation in The Gambia with regard to the regional vice president’s position. The meeting resolved to setup a reconciliation committee consisting of five prominent members, to be headed by Dr Kipchoge Keino - IOC member and chairman NOC Kenya, to deliberate and resolve the issues surrounding the controversies between the GNOC and the nominated CGF regional vice president for Africa, Abdoulie Touray.

After lengthy deliberations, it was resolved that both parties should enter into a new relationship based on respect, recognition and unity in the interest of sports development in The Gambia and the African continent.

The following declarations were made in the presence of the committee, given the fact that the GNOC presidential election of 12 February 2011 has been recognised by the IOC and the CGF, both parties agreed to abide by this recognition and thrive to work harmoniously for the development of sport in The Gambia and for the benefit of the youth of the country.

It was generally agreed that Mr. Touray’s nomination be endorsed. It was also understood that the reconciliation between Mr. Touray and GNOC has reached an agreement.

All parties including committee members, to append their signatures on this declaration accepting that it is binding and authentic.

A copy of this resolution is to be endorsed by the chairman, to be forwarded to the presidents of the CGF and the IOC.

The parties agreed that a mediation and reconciliation mission, comprising Dr Kipchoge Keino and Engr Sani Ndanusa, will undertake a mission to The Gambia with a view to accessing the situation on the ground. Their findings and recommendation are to be communicated to Africa CGAs. The parties have agreed to be bound by these recommendations to go forward. 

Agreement pack signed on the 12th Day of November 2011 in St Kitts, on behalf of all members of Africa Commonwealth Games Associations (CGAs) during g the CGF regional meeting for Africa.