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Opinion: Lamin King Colley deserves to be commended

Nov 4, 2010, 1:22 PM | Article By: Jalamang Camara

Lamin King Colley deserves to be commended for complementing the efforts of government under the leadership of President Yahya A.J.J. Jammeh, in executing his duties as both a senior police officer and a senior football administrator.

My King Colley deserves to be hailed for his unique, good and exemplary youth leadership in the way he settled a community football dispute that would have ended up being a police case at the Brikama Station.

The incident occurred on 22 October 2010, when the team official’s sand players of Real Madrid FC of Kembujeh, Kombo Central District, Western Zone, were arrested by officials of the Brikama Police unit for an alleged assault against members of the Kembujeh Sports Committee over an appeal case filed against Real Madrid for the result of their last match, which they won by using unqualified players, according to the committee.

We the officials of Real Madrid denied the ruling due to what we referred to as inefficient and unfair decision. As a result of the row between us and the committee, two of our team members by the name Momodou Jammeh and Malang Ceesay were detained in cell on the night of 22 October.

In an effort to secure the release of these men, knowing Mr King Colley as a senior official of the Gambia Football Association (GFA), we therefore counted on his assistance.

However, we could not locate him on the very night the incident occurred, and that left us with no option but to leave the boys behind bars, which resulted into an unrest and dismay among the families of the two boys. But we assured them that nothing would be wrong with them and that the following morning we would get to Mr King Colley to secure this release.

The following morning, 23 October, we continued our efforts of trying to secure their release. We met Mr Colley at his office and explained everything that occurred. He said he was informed by his OC, Jarsey, and that he was going to take care of the case and make sure that everything was settled, which he did professionally in the very best manners.

At first he granted the boys a bail, moved the case completely from the police station to his office at the Brikama Mini-stadium, where he assured everybody to be themselves and try to forget or remove the fear of what we experienced the previous night, especially the two boys, so as to be able to explain at rest and in detail what happened. He listened keenly to both parties to give a complete detail of what went wrong. After hearing from both parties he asked us to go home and report back the following morning on Sunday, 24 October at the same venue.

We all came back the following morning to hear from him, as he had already had a comprehensive detail of the issue. In addressing the situation he first pinpointed the faults of both parties, especially the committees, whom he advised to liaise with the appropriate authorities responsible for sports and in particular football to help to better organise and conduct their activities in accordance with the National Sport Council and the GFA in particular, which he said can be achieved through district and regional bodies.

He noted the importance of community football as a good arena for scouting talents at the district and national levels.

He allowed the committee’s decision to stand on the appeal case, so as to allow the successful completion of the league and compensated us (Real Madrid FC) with a set of Jersey for the discipline and obedience we exercised in conducting the whole affair.

He further advised us to maintain unity as people of the same community and as Gambians in general.

He also expressed his desire for us to join in the efforts of the Government of The Gambia in ensuring peace and tranquility among all its citizens, especially with the upcoming 2011 presidential election.

Mr King Colley also highlighted the negative effects of drugs to our society, especially the youth and sports. He urged us to also join the government in ensuring that The Gambia becomes drug-free, especially in our youths and sport development activities.

He assured us of his continuous support for the development of Kembujeh community football and all other communities and promised to conduct a weeklong capacity building workshop on sports for the community of Kembujeh, which he said will include administrators, coaches and players.

Mr King Colley has given us more understanding of the roles we should play individually and collectively as citizens to ensure a peaceful society and nation, to join in the fight against drugs and to rally behind our good leaders, which I think is good, as we are the cornerstone of acquiring unity, peace and tranquility in society.

Bravo to Mr King Colley for his exemplary leadership and I challenge every leader in every aspect to emulate him.