May 8, 2008, 6:14 AM
As we write this petition, we note with grave concern that Interpol is currently carrying out investigations on Integrity in Sports, as the Gambia Government under the leadership of His Excellency Sheikh Professor Alhaji Dr Yahya A.J.J. Jammeh and his Government are steadfast on the principles of Accountability, Transparency and Probity.
A timely article in one of The Gambia’s premier newspapers reads: “The GNOC cannot be allowed to be Judge and Jury, Candidate and Independent Electoral Commissioner, Player and Referee. We insist on checks and balances, Fair Play, Please Stand Up and be counted.
The fiasco of the GNOC has been ongoing for 4 years now, and the IOC has yet to send a fact-finding mission to The Gambia, contrary to their fielding a mission to Ghana and Nigeria in our sub-region and further afield in India and Libya when those countries were in similar imbroglio and their disputes were immediately settled. Why not tiny Gambia. Suffice it to mention that the parties signed a St Kitts Declaration to the effect that prominent and highly respected African Sports Personality should visit The Gambia and agree a Road Map, that effort was thwarted??
The voter list is determined by the GNOC Executive, who are contesting parties and IEC officials, what a travesty?!
The voter list fluctuates based on the whims and caprices of the GNOC officials, the first voter list this time around excluded Football, Weightlifting, Rugby and Cycling.
Football was restored when it was realised that Football had nominated Mr Sheriff Jammeh, and the GNOC then wrote to nominate Football as a member of their team, luckily the football Association is composed of Men of Integrity.
Weightlifting was excluded on the basis that the are on the verge of suspension and invited him to a meeting which he refused to attend. Mr Koteh, the President of the Weightlifting Association went on the offensive and embarked on a media blitz, he was subsequently called by the GNOC to stop his outburst and that his right to vote has been restored.
Rugby voted at the last elections because they gave the voters card to a suspended member of the Rugby Association to vote for Mr Dibba, he testified to this fact at the Tribunal and has been banned from vying for or holding any position in Sports.
Fencing was given the right to vote in the first election and that right was forfeited by the same GNOC in the ensuing elections and again this time around. They are the Law unto themselves.
Softball is not known or practised in yet they have been accorded the right to vote, when clearly the IOC charter clearly states: “National Federations To be recognized by an NOC and accepted as a member of such NOC, national federation must a specific, REAL and ongoing sports activity, be affiliated to an IF recognised by the IOC and be Governed by and comply in all aspects with both the Olympic Charter and the rules of its IF.”
Draught is not an Olympic Sport, nor a Commonwealth Games Sport neither an African Games Sport yet it’s President the elderly Mr Dibba who has gone past the retirement age for IOC members insists on being a candidate even after signing an agreement with the very Minister of Youth and Sport following the release of the tribunal report whose findings are now public knowledge. We wonder if a civilian can be Chief of Defence Staff, the president of a Sport not recognised by the IOC cannot and will not be the President of an Olympic Committee.
Fair Play please, refer to the voter list sanctioned by the National Sports Council and Olympic Sports recognised by the IOC and let us have open, fair and transparent elections consistent with our democratic principles and the IOC Charter. We beg for justice, will the honourable people please stand up and be counted so that we can bring closure to this ugly face of Gambian Sports in the blessed memory of the dearly departed Momodou Max Jallow.
If the defacto GNOC feel that they are on the right path they should be happy to welcome the IOC to expose the facts and vindicate their stance for posterity, failing which the Gambian Courts and the Court of Arbitration will establish justice sooner or later. The truth is God and God is the Truth.
Let justice and Fair Play live forever.
Sheriff J. Jammeh president
LAWN TENNIS ASSOCIATION