*Plans to impeach President thickens
*Sunday Adeleye is an illiterate – Dare Esan
*It’s a lie, no matter on Athletics before us – CAS
By Olajide Fashikun
Nigeria’s largest sport, athletics, if the latest development is anything to go by may have entered into a full blown crisis with the Vice President, Olamide George leading a group of ‘dissidents’ to declare war against it President, Ibrahim Gusau, who is touted to face impeachment.
The Federation’s secretariat on Tuesday 5th September 2017 released a list of sub-committee members which the team led by George have rejected.
In a press statement made available to www.gongnews.net, the board members, led by the federation’s vice-president, Olamide George has called on members of the public, especially the Nigerian athletics family to disregard the purported list as it did not emanate from the AFN board which has the constitutional mandate to constitute and approve the sub-committees.
‘As far as we are concerned, the sub-committees of the AFN have not been constituted because the board has not met to deliberate on it and other issues necessary to enable us hit the ground running especially after our participation at the IAAF World Championships in London last month,’ said George, a former national 400m hurler and member of the Ondo state House of Assembly.
‘I remember I called on the president, Honourable Ibrahim Gusau to urgently call for a board meeting to enable us review our performance at the 16th IAAF World Championships in London and map out technical and marketing plans for 2018 which is two seasons in one for us.’
‘The Commonwealth Games is coming up in April 2018 while the African championships will hold in July/August which means we should have hit the ground running as soon as the World Championships ended in London. I am, thus, shocked to know that the sub-committees have been constituted without the knowledge of board members because there was no board meeting called to that effect,’ he said.
Also flabbergasted by the purported list was the Sports Writers of Nigeria (SWAN) representative on the board, Dare Esan. After he was bombarded by the media seeking confirmation of the said list.
Esan was particularly shocked that the federation’s president could unilaterally constitute the sub-committees after insinuations in the media he was trying to put square pegs in the round holes of the sub-committees.
Signature of war from Dare Esan: To show that the fate of Gusau has been decided, Dare Esan, the SWAN representative on the AFN board had released a media statement some days ago where they laid all the conditions that the President must meet or be ejected.
Esan in a manner akin to war dictated the grounds for Gusau to meet wherein he had pilloried the former House of Representatives member for many undeclared sins including the appointment of members into committees which must receive the seal of a board meeting. His words in the said report are what has been re-echoed in the rejection of the announced sub-committees.
Esan: Sunday Adeleye is an illiterate ‘All over the world the post of the technical committee chairman or technical director of an athletics federation has always been filled by individuals with huge coaching experience and background in sports science because sports, especially track and field has gone really scientific. In the absence of an individual with such qualification on the board, then the board of the federation can look at an accomplished ex-international who has participated at either the Olympic Games or the IAAF World Championships or both. The individual our president has illegally assigned that role to is a illiterate as far as the position is concerned.
‘In fact it is only in Nigeria that an athlete representative has been accorded the status of a board member. All over the world the athletes representatives only heads an athletes commission created by the constitution of the board,’ said Esan whose sentiments were echoed by three time Olympic and five-time IAAF World Championships coach, Gabriel Okon.
Brown Ebewele, the man elected to head the technical arm of the AFN believes the purported list is a joke carried too far.
‘As far as I am concerned, the AFN sub-committees have not been constituted and the board will meet soon to constitute them as stipulated by the code of governance handed over to the AFN by the Sports Ministry during our inauguration,’ said Ebewele whose view was corroborated by 4x400m Olympic gold medallist, Fidelis Tafida Gadzama and Professor Emmanuel Ojeme, both board members of the federation.
Meanwhile, the board members have given the federation’s president two weeks to call for a board meeting to enable them chart a positive course for the federation in view of the very daunting task ahead.
The members cited the case of the Wrestling Federation which met on Wednesday, barely days after its athletes achieved unprecedented feats at the World Wrestling Championships in France.
‘We are the king of Olympic sports and should be setting examples for other federations. We don’t want to be labelled failures after our tenure and we appeal to the Honourable Minister to call Honourable Ibrahim Gusau to call for the meeting of the board of the federation,’ said Okon.
Three days ago, a senior member of the board had revealed to www.gongnews.net in Ilorin that they would impeach the President soon. The board is unanimous against the president. We shall sweep him out and his Vice shall step in and we shall take the sport to its desired height.
CAS denies any AFN suit with her: In the bid to get to the rumoured suit alleged to have been filed with the Court of Arbitration in Lausanne, www.gongnews.net wrote for clarification. Earlier on Thursday afternoon, Katy Hogg the Communications Officer responded saying, «Thank you for your message and for your interest in the activities of the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). To the best of our knowledge, we do not currently have any pending cases involving the sport of athletics in Nigeria. Best regards.”