Sunday, May 11, 2014

The Sports Minister must go, and he must go now

Alieu K. Jammeh, Minister of Youth and Sports
Mr. Alieu K. Jammeh, Minister of Youth and Sports has the dubious honor of being the first and only Minister of Youth and Sports to have been sanctioned or threatened with sanction, not by one but by two major international sporting authorities.

FIFA was the first and IOC less than a month ago to threaten the regime of Yaya Jammeh with sanctions for interfering with the independence of the the Gambian Football Federation (GFF) and The Gambia National Olympic Committee (GNOC). Minister K Jammeh is evidently the point man for the dictator who appears bent on molding Gambian sports to his image and liking. Jammeh sees sports as politics; as a means of advancing his political agenda, using his successive Sports Ministers to achieving his goal.

But there is something special about this particular Minister.  He appears to lack the basic faculties as a rational human being.  He keeps repeating the same infractions of the rules of both FIFA and IOC by dissolving the local sporting organizations with the full knowledge of what that means.  He keeps repeating the same infraction , expecting different results.  The definition of this syndrome is insanity.

Minister Jammeh has completely turned the entire sporting fraternity on its head, and has sent the entire membership of the GFF Executive Committee to jail for, what is referred to as infraction of the Sports Council Act.  The Executive members of GFF are being accused of fielding over-age players during a CAF competition between Gambia and Liberia for which they have taken full responsibility.  Yet, they were rounded up like a bunch of criminals and thrown in jail.

To target this set of officers to punish is purely a political move, designed to put the preferred candidates who enjoy the support of Yaya Jammeh and his APRC minions in place of the current Executives who were recently elected in an election that the preferred candidate of the regime were defeated.  This regime does not believe in a free and fair elections because Jammeh and his cronies know they are so unpopular they will lose.  They cannot be elected dog catchers if they tried.

Back to Alieu K. Jammeh; he's not only inexperienced but lack the basic managerial wherewithal to run a stall at the Albert Market much less run a Ministry.  He is causing embarrassment to Gambians and Gambia, must, therefore be removed as soon as possible.  This is the Minister who dispatched the paramilitary to Olympic House, headquarters of the IOC-recognized GNOC, seized its property and disbanded its Executive to be replaced by an Interim Committee of his own.  He was threatened with sanction and he backed down.  He's at it again.  We already have dictator Jammeh, who is enough an embarrassment.  To add another Jammeh to the circus is too painful for Gambians to endure.  Please get rid of this guy, and do it now.

In our second installment, we will look at the role the National Sports Council Act plays in the current flux