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Thursday, November 25, 2010

Foroyaa Reporter Laid To Rest

By Saikou Jammeh
Foroyaa newspaper sports editor late Lamin A Darboe who met his untimely death under controversial circumstances on Saturday 20th November, was gently laid to rest Monday at Old Jeshwang cemetery.

Returning to Kombo from his home village, Bakindik, North Bank region, where he joined his family and friends to celebrate the Tobaski feast, Mr Lamin Darboe fell-off from a Gambia Ports Authority (GPA) Ferry bound for Banjul, with his vehicle into the river. He drowned and the dead body was only recovered the following day – Sunday.
Eye witnesses say Lamin had cried for help as he resurfaced two times after felling-off into the water, but there was no rescue attempt made by authorities to save his life.
However, Gambia Ports Authority (GPA) says the accident might result from a break failure.
But given the controversial circumstances under which Lamin died, family members said they will pursue the matter to ensuring justice is met.
Foroyaa newspaper also urged authorities to make Corona’s Inquest into the cause of Lamin’s death.

Meanwhile the journalist cum teacher has been described as disciplined, righteous, hardworking and generous young-man by family members, colleagues and other relatives.
“He has built an Islalmic School with the aid of philanthropist [in Bakindiki village] where over 300 pupils are attending Quranic lessons,” elders from the village confirmed.
His co-workers at Foroyaa newspaper and colleague journalist from other newspapers also described him as a generous, honest and hardworking mate.
“We have just held our elections and Lamin has been elected our treasure,” Pa Modou Faal, an acting Editor-in-Chief of independent Point Newspaper, also auditor, Sports Journalists Association (SJAG) said.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

SKI holds Second black belt examination

Gambia Shotokan Karate –Do International Association recently held a black belt examination at the Bakau Community Center by SKI- Gambia branch and eighteen students, including a female participant. This examination is the second of its kind since 2004.
According to Muhammed Danso the Technical Director, it is six years since another black belt examination was held, this he noted was because his house was not put in order and there were lots of amendments by the International Federation in Japan and also the seriousness he saw in the senior Brown Belts.
When ask if all the 18 Students will pass, he said that in every exam, there will be failures. “Besides, this is just a matter of getting points. If your points are not met, one can work towards completing them in another exam. The exams was purely a technical exams and the awarding ceremony will soon take place where the Whole Gambia will see their fellow brothers and sisters receiving one of their most important life time achievements that they have been pursuing for ages.”
The grading, Danso noted, is a promotional test that assesses students that are pursuing their belt. The regulations also provide the procedures of carrying out all level of tests in accordance with the with the SKIAF (Shotokan Karate-Do International Federation) standards in Japan, which is aimed at spreading the rationalized SKI techniques and standardizing its practice in The Gambia.
The exam was conducted to keep the high spirit of sportsmanship in the young Karate Practitioners that have spent years of training.
The examination was attended by the Senior Master of The Gambia Shotokan Karate-Do International Association and facilitated by Senior Instructors of the Association.

SJAG Lose Four Games in a Row

By Omar Bah

The Gambia Sport Journalists Association (SJAG) football team on Wednesday suffered a 2 - 0 thumped up in the hands of the Scorpions fans club in the ongoing stakeholders tournament at the Real de Banjul football field.
The defeat marked their fourth defeat in a row, as they have lost to the Serra Leonean Team in the previous Nigerian High Commissioner sponsored tournament then slipped to Serrekunda East Committee in a friendly game by 3 - 0 then in the hands of the Medics by a lone goal, before suffering a two nil defeat against the drummers of the Scorpions.
The sport journalists were hoping to end their poor run up form under the leadership of the new coach Musa Ann who has not collected a point since taking over the position.
And many fans of the sport fraternity have raised questions about his leading role. Many term the coach as toothless, while fans are yearning for improvement.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Stakeholders Unite To Protect Vulnerable Children

By Abdoulie Nget
In a bid to protect vulnerable children who rampantly sell, roam, eat and live in the streets, stakeholders drawn from both government and private institutions converged at TANGO on Thursday, November 4 to form a network.
The organizers responsible for the formation of the network were the Centre for Street Children Trafficking Studies (CSCACTS), Child Protection Alliance (CPA), CEDAG, and Department of Social Welfare and were funded by International Social Service Swiss Foundation (ISS), with the aim of protecting children from trafficking, violence and harassments.
Fanta Bai Secka, the director of social Welfare saw the initiative of forming the network of child protection as timely saying that children issues are crosscutting issues and no single institution can solely handle them, adding that it is important for institutions from both the government and the private sectors to work as a team to make sure that children living in our surroundings are protected.
“Children are small but their issues are not, it is only through collective efforts that they could be addressed,” she said.
 Taking advantage of their vulnerability, children are trafficked just like goods by using approaches like education, good living conditions and others but later used as labourers in plantations, prompting the Child Protection Alliance and other children institutions to come up with the idea of forming the network which will be there to protect children who are or about to be affected.
“Young girls and boys are violated by old men and women by using their vulnerability while selling or doing their domestic works for survival,” said Sheikh E.T.Lewis, the coordinator of the Network.
He said that the means that people use to violate the rights of children are monies or promises which only a rich child will reject but a poor child will or may not. Therefore he said that the network will not only be there for networking shake but will try to work with the government and the police likewise the law makers to ensure that our children are protected.
Madi Jorbateh of TANGO in a brief statement said that the people who are to form the network should put at the back of their minds that they should not see it as a mere network but a productive one where all members should participate fully to make sure that it progresses and achieves its aim which is to make sure that our children are protected.
The Gambia is now the first English speaking country to participate in the move to protect children with vulnerability in Africa joining countries like Mali, Senegal, Niger, Guinea Bissau, Guinea, Ivory Coast and Burkina Faso.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Plans to Crown Jammeh King Unveiled

Plans to make president Jammeh a king has been finally made public after months of underground work by the ruling APRC party stalwarts led by local chiefs.
This was unveiled at statehouse on Friday during a meeting claimed to be summoned by president Jammeh to discuss extending the death sentence – from murder and treason - to offences of drugs and human trafficking.

In attendance at the meeting were ministers, ruling party National Assembly members, local government authorities, local chiefs, , religious leaders and his party bigwigs.  

But the meeting, which was designed to dilate on death sentence in the wake of the rising crime rate, witnessed an obvious shift to unmasking plans to transform The Republic of The Gambia into a Kingdom.  

The agenda was set by Jammeh himself as he expressed outrage at ‘troubles elections created in Africa’.

“We all know the problems elections have created in Africa; the problem in Somalia is caused by elections and in many other countries.  “Nearer [to home] in Guinea, people of different tribes are killing one another because of elections,” he said.

As the country prepares to embark on a circle of elections – presidential, parliamentary and local government in 2011, 2012 and 2013 respectively, Jammeh said people will vote so long as the constitution dictates.

“But it is left to you [Gambians]; whatever you decide is what we will do,” he said of the no election campaign

The campaigns for no elections and to crown president Jammeh as King have been in the rumour mill for some time now.

The local chiefs who are reportedly pushing the agenda forward have recently toured the whole country after president Jammeh donated vehicles to them, sources revealed.

However, the Independent Electoral Commission has condemned the move.

“The campaign for no elections is a non-starter and should be discouraged in all its forms,” IEC said, at the recently concluded outreach for National Assembly members, where it was hinted.

Hon. Fabakary T. Jatta, the majority leader of parliament has been warned of contempt of the constitution for saying that the secret ballot is the highest form of hypocrisy.

Undeterred by this warning, Hon. Jatta said at Saturday’s meeting: “I said it once and I am repeating it here that elections, especially the secret ballot is hypocrisy.”
 “Even if it happens that we go to the polls 2011, it might as well be the last election [for The Gambia]” Jatta said.

The governor of North Bank Region Edwar Seckan said chiefs have approached them to make Jammeh a king and they have agreed.

 “The constitution is neither the Quran nor the Bible,” says Alhagie Demba Manneh from rural-Lower River region. “We want to make president Jammeh a King and we will amend it to suit our needs.”

President Jammeh came to power through a military coup in 1994 putting an end to the thirty-year-rule of Dawda Kairaba Jawara, who was re-elected in office 5 times after Independence in 1965.
All political parties and political activities were banned during the two year transition period in the run-up to a return to a democratic civilian government.
The presidential elections held in 1996 saw Jammeh winning with 56 percent of the votes and captured the majority of seats in the legislative elections held in 1997.
Although he dropped to 53 percent of votes in the 2001 presidential elections, he was able to secure a virtual monopoly at the National Assembly after the main-opposition UDP boycotted the elections amid cries of foul play.

In 2006, president Jammeh won 67 of the votes and his party maintained a strong majority in the National Assembly.

Although some local and foreign election observers deemed the elections free, fair and transparent, there were reports of unfair play and the opposition maintained that there has never been a level playing ground for free and fair elections.  

Meanwhile voter apathy has been phenomenally increasing at a worrying rate as over 50 percent of registered voters failed to cast their votes during the 2006 presidential elections.
Source: Kissi Mansa

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

SJAG FC Suffer in the Hands of SESDO Elders

By Omar Bah
SJAG Football Team
Serrekunda East old players proved to be a better team than the Gambian sports writer’s as they registered two victories in row against them at the Serrekunda East mini stadium, both in friendly encounter.
Their first encounter was months ago when the Serrekunda East players thrashed sports journalist association FC  8-0 and the second was three-nil in favor of Serrekunda East (SESDO) meaning the sports journalists Football could not even registered a goal against the old hands of the Serrekunda East.
The second friendly which took place at the Serrekunda East on Monday was a friendly as well as a commemoration of the late Fatou Mbye a onetime active colleague in the media.
The match was purposely to maintain peace among ourselves as the SJAG president Sainabou Kujabi said: “We should work together as brothers and sisters for the good of our association because without peace development cannot be achieved.”
The game started well for the sports writers during the first half as they were playing well both in attack and defense, but appeared tired and fatigue as the Old Hands of Serrekunda used their experience to  overshadow them on the pitch.
Ousman Chorr was the man of the game as he came into the second half as substitute and manage to hit a brace that shot stopper Allasan Mballo could do nothing about before experienced Lamin Sillah netted the final goal of the day to give Serrekunda east a three-nil victory and the second consecutive victory over the pen pushers.

Melles hopes for Rwanda qualification

By Omar Bah

The Gambia under 17’s hot shot Buba Jallow alias Melles is hopeful of the Gambia making it to the African 2011 cadet championship to be played in Rwanda after their tough one-all-draw against the Senegalese U-17 at the independence stadium on Sunday.
 Though missed a penalty in the second half during the one all draw against Senegal on Sunday, Melles is optimistic of riding over Tunisia when they rub shoulders on Saturday which will be their final contenders in the qualifying campaign.
Melles the regular goal scorer for The Gambia’s U-17 team appealed for support from the Gambian fans, adding that “Insallah we will make it.” He described the test game against Senegal as good because it prepares them for their Tunisia trip.
“We were yearning for a win but get a draw,” the young star said. “This is football we have to take it with good faith. I know that Gambian fans always want to see us wining but they should also know we need it as well, you always want to make your nation proud as long as you wear the national color.”.

AJAX’s 10-year Ban reduced to 3

By Mamadou S Jallow

After considering appeals made by Lord Mayor of Banjul, Hon. Samba Faal, Hon. Alhaji Sillah, Councilor Njaga Jammeh and other prominent Banjul elders, Banjul sports executive committee has reduced the ten-year ban on Ajax FC to three instead.
It could be recalled the Ajax has been banned by the sports committee due to indiscipline that the committee could not condone.

Investigations has revealed that the following players were culpable of violently attacking the match officials: Modou Musa Jobarteh (Too), Muhammed Joof (Victor), Samba Bah, Alpha Cham, Maissan Faye, Ousman Secka, Alieu Bah, Karamo Drammeh, Lansana Corr, Pa Omar Jallow, Ousman Corr together with two team officials; Muhammed Jarra and Daddy Njie. All the aforementioned are now banned from all the activities of the committee.

The following players were found to act in the best interest of the game: George Camara, Chuckly Gomez, Lamin Cham, Modou Jobe, Modou Jagne, Amadou Kargbo and Abdoulie Samba. These players are welcome to continue to be part of the Banjul football family.

By bring the game into disrepute which violated Article 10, (10.1.1) of the Rules and Regulations of the Banjul Nawetaan, the team is fined D3000. Also, for destroying the Committee’s chairs and caused the lost of the Referee’s watch and red and yellow cards which breaches Article 10 (10.1.2) of the Rules and Regulations of the Banjul Nawetaan, the team has been fined D2000. The fines are payable one week from the date of this letter before the matter can be withdrawn from the Police and avoid taking the matter to court.

Gambian Rugby in the Spotlight

By Abdoulie Nget
Rugby players have felt the necessity of registering a national rugby association to enable them represent The Gambia in international competitions like any other popular sports played in the country.
Speaking to this reporter in a training session at Buffer Zone, Amadou Bayo, a passionate rugby player and captain of Phenols Rugby team said that there should be a legally registered rugby association as it is a requirement to compete in international rugby games.
According to captain Bayo, there are many rugby teams in the country but Rhinos who are being trained by an English rugby coach Paul Sills are the most outstanding team that attract many female players and enthusiast of the game.
Reflecting on a recent training held at the Kombo Beach Hotel early, he said some coaches from Kent Rugby have helped in training in basic stills of rugby. In addition to the training the team have been engaging in a series of matches with same well experience players from England who were here in the country.
On future plans, Bayo revealed that an international friendly with the British Navy at home will be organized not later than the first week of December which would no doubt be a moral booster for their team and an opportunity for international link.
He further revealed that they are working hand in glove with coach Paul Sills and have written a letter to the Senegalese rugby president Gedal Njie for support. He said Rhinos are trying to travel to Senegal after the inter4national friendly.
According Bayo, the game of rugby was introduced in the Gambia since 2005.

Sainabou Kujabi is New President of SJAG

By Abdoulie Nget
Sainabou Kujabi
The Sport Journalist Association of The Gambia (SJAG) has elected its former secretary general Sainabou Kujabi, a sport editor with The Point newspaper as president of the association at a triennial congress Saturday, October 2, 2010 at B.O. Semega Janneh hall at Serrekunda East which witnessed the entrustment  the first female president to lead SJAG.
Sainabou Kujabi and Nanama Keita were nominees who contested for the presidential. Kujabi polled 34 votes while Nanama’s votes count 27. For the vice presidency, Amadou Wuyeh Manga of Unique FM was elected 1st vice president after defeating Baboucarr Senghor of GRTS TV while Momodou S. Jallow of Hill Top Radio was elected 2nd vice president. Sang Mendy of Standard newspaper was elected as the secretary general after he went unopposed. Mendy’s assistants are Abdoulie Bah of West Coast Radio, Lamin A. Darboe of Foroyaa was nominated as treasurer assisted by Ebrima Bah from Hill Top and Pa Modou Faal is auditor.
The secretary general of the Gambia Press Union (GPU) Emil Touray described the day as a moment of reckoning the steps of the association, saying that the GPU will work together with the SJAG for the benefits of sports in the Gambia.
He urged members of SJAG to go through the congress in a professional manner. He noted there was a lot of lobbying been done, appealing to those to be handed over the barton of leadership to make sure that they are competent to handle the posts they are lobbying for.
Secretary General Touray told sport journalists to have a good relationship with the GFA, GNOC, Cricket Association and others for a conducive working environment.
A representative from the GNOC Abdul Aziz Titawo Mendy commended the outgoing executive for having exercised their democratic duties and rights for the sole benefit of their association, describing the congress as a day media.
He also urged the enfranchised members to vote for candidates of their choice whom they have faith in and believe are competent for the posts. He also challenged those coming into office to work collectively and not as an individual for their selfish interest but rather the association.
The former president of the sport journalist, Namory Trawalley outlined the remarkable achievement of his executive and challenged the incoming executive to live up to expectation as they have a big task ahead of them.
On her part, the new president elect of the sport journalists Sainabou Kujabi presented her report and the financial secretary Gibril M.S. Jasseh presented the financial statement over the past 6 years.
The election was conducted in a free and fair atmosphere.

Serrekunda East Knockout on course

By Abdoulie Nget
Teams fall as others progress in the Serrekunda east Knockout, which is on high gear as no team is willing to be knocked out of the tournament but to emerge victorious at the end of the competition.
Rangers FC and Green Impact were knocked out by London United and Bantabaa respectively whereas penalties will decide in the game that saw Juventus and B.B Rovers drew 1-1 in normal time.
Habibou Sonko’s Brace saw Bantabaa qualify to the next stage of the competition and Green Impact’s efforts Safira went in vein and will have to hang up for next years’ knockout.
Rangers and London United had  little on the ground as their task was just to kick penalties after their game  played recently without a victor and referees decided to call the game off when it was dark. As normally goes in spot kicks, one team had to be out and that team was Rangers when they sent one of their kicks over the bar, giving London to take a score win which they did forcing cheers from fans.
The last game of the day (Friday) was Juventus and B.B Rovers where they played the normal time with neither team emerging victorious. Juventus were one goal up in the early second when Dawda Gomez mounted pressure on to the Rovers defenders which resulted to an own goal from Musa Comma.
Some minutes later the rovers Boys bounced back with an equalizer from Yaya Jatta after he benefited from a defensive error. As it was getting dark towards the end of normal time, the referee decided to postpone the spot kicks till further notice.

“Bomm”: A Role Model in Gambia’s Women Football

Abdoulie Nget
When you talk of women Football nowadays minds go directly to players like Marta of Brazil, Abby Wambach of USA, Ragnhild Gulbransen of Norway, Faye White, Prinz Birgit and others, but here in the Gambia, it is  Mariama Sowe alias “Bomm”.
Bomm is a Gambia female coach who plays for her nation as well as served as a coach which led to her name flow in the Gambia women football arena, she is recommended by both the media and the general public due to her tireless effort towards promoting Gambia’s women Football. She has been an athletic/player representing school and region and through sports she was employed as a prison officer.
She was later snatched by immigration and promoted from Sergeant to Inspector where she captained the Interior women’s football team for 12 years,
She was part of the first national female team set up in 1999 and started her coaching career in 2003.
In her quest for the development of Women Football in the Gambia, she traveled to South America and to Hungary for her Diploma in coaching. She also represented her country in various training courses in countries like, Sweden, South Africa, Nigeria, Mauritania and Mali.
She was awarded the best female coach by the Gambia sports writers in 2007 and 2009. She is now the assistance coach of the Gambia’s women national team, with her coaching both Immigration and Interior Women football club which is the leading club in the Gambia’s women’s ties.
This woman worth to be a role model to all Gambian young girls who are aspiring to become footballers and represent their country in the future.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Women football cries for support

By Abdoulie Nget
The just concluded seminar at the Kairaba Beach Hotel, which was organized by the Gambia Football Association and funded by the Federation Internationale de football association FIFA served as a platform for Gambian women in football to raise their concern.
All concerns were similar as they were all crying for support from the GFA, FIFA, the Media and the general public as well. Choro Mbenga, an assistance coach in the Gambia’s national Women football team and also the coach of the Red Scorpions, appreciated the course noting that now that FIFA and GFA are given women football it’s due.
She decried lack of support from both the Gambian football governing body GFA and the Media to women’s football.
Saying that the media plays a crucial role in the development of football, she called on sports journalists to be covering their marches. 
Choro Mbenga also urged GFA to give them the responsibility to take over and handle the national women football team, as they are talking about women football. “There is no use when GFA sent women coaches for training courses and later assisting men in their own game (Women Football).” 
She implored on both teachers and parents to inject the spirit of football to their girl children, saying that football can enhance their lives.
Likewise the most outstanding coach in the Gambia women’s football arena Mariama Sowe alias (BOMM) also called on both the media and the FA to give their outmost support to upgrade women football in the Gambia.
Mariama Jobarteh also an administrator for Jaduma FC also expressed similar sentiments.