Jul 12, 2010, 1:55 PM
Iron lady Sainabou Kujabi, Sports Editor of The Point newspaper, was Saturday elected President of the Sports Journalists Association of The Gambia at the fourth congress of association, following a well-contested and well-publicized election, held at the B.O. Semega Janneh Hall in Tallinding.
Kujabi, who served as general secretary in the previous executive, that was widely criticized in the build up to the election by so-called "members yearning for a change", defeated her long time close ally, Nanama Keita, Sports Editor of the Daily Observer newspaper, who was reported to have the "backing of many deprived members".
The election is held every three years, as required by the constitution of the association, and more than 60 sports journalists across the country took part in the election.
Sainabou Kujabi won the election with 34 votes, and by a margin of seven votes over Nanama Keita who only managed to secure 27 votes.
Unique FM Sports Editor Amadou Wuyeh Manga, who has also been an active member of the association, was voted the 1st Vice President after edging out his fellow contender Baboucarr Senghore of GRTS. Manga enjoyed 34 votes while Senghore secured 24 votes.
Momodou S. Jallow of Hilltop FM radio station, also another active member of the association, was voted in as the 2nd Vice President.
A rather interesting congress, which was marred by controversies at some point, also witnessed the election of two key members of the association namely, Sang Mendy of Standard newspaper and City Limits FM radio station, and Abdoulie Bah of West Coast Radio. The duo were unanimously elected as Secretary General and Assistant Secretary General of the association respectively.
Foroyaa newspaper's Lamin A Darboe was voted in as Treasurer at the expense of Alasan Mballow of Paradise FM radio station, while Ebrima Bah of Daily News was elected into the executive to assist Mr. Darboe.
Pa Modou Faal, a sub editor and columnist of The Point newspaper, who enjoyed the support of almost the entire membership of the association, was honoured with the role of auditor of the association.
The congress also saw the nomination of three members of the association to serve as co-opted members. They are Ousman Jeng and Abdoulie Fatty, both sports photographers, as well as Nanama Keita of the Daily Observer, who in the end accepted the position of a co-opted member of the new executive, after failing in his attempt to secure the top position.
Meanwhile, we reproduce in verbatim the acceptance speech of the new SJAG President:
Let me first applaud the members of the National Sports Council for diligently seeing through the election which has given me the touch to lead our noble association. Thanks to Pap Saine our honorary Life President for being with us since morning, and the Serrekunda East Sports Committee.
To you the congress, ladies and gentlemen, I sincerely express my profound gratitude for the trust you have bestowed on me, by electing me your president. I promise to live up to expectations. However, I must quickly say that without your support, the road to our common destiny will be gloomy. I, therefore, ask you all to take ownership of SJAG, put me and my executive to task and, very importantly, put yourself to the wheel.
Let me at this juncture inform those coming newly to the executive that a big task lies ahead. We are entrusted to lead the affairs of the SJAG; so we must sacrifice everything to ensure success. Elections are meant to put in place leaders for the cause of a group of individuals. It determines who the people want to lead for a period and such persons, therefore, become servants of the people they serve. I am your servant.
For those of you who presented yourselves for election and this congress decided otherwise, I implore you to give us your best, for I know you have so much to offer.
SJAG must grow and:
We must unite;
We must collaborate with ourselves and our partners;
We must work to be recognized more and more internationally and forge partnership with sister organizations abroad;
We should build capacities of our members;
We must continue to encourage women journalists and women in sports;
We need money so we must work robustly towards making money much needed for our development.
Congress ladies and gentlemen, thank you for your time and trust.
Long live SJAG! Long live the Gambia!