*Stop harassment of journalists covering the league
After its monthly Congress, the members of the Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN), Lagos State chapter, have been instructed to stop the registration process with the national body until certain knotty ends are resolved. This cold war has been brewing and is widening.
The Congress which held on the 7th April, 2017, at the Lagos SWAN Secretariat, National Stadium, Lagos also took certain other decisions. We reproduce the communiqué of the Congress verbatim below:
After thorough deliberations, the congress passed the following resolutions:
- The congress strongly condemned the assault on one of its members, Kelvin Ekerete of Sportsville Productions and harassment of other visiting sports writers by supporters of Remo Stars FC at the Gateway International Stadium, Sagamu, while covering the Week 16 Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) match between Remo Stars of Sagamu and Wikki Tourists FC of Bauchi.
- The congress demands an apology from the management of Remo Stars to the body of Nigerian sports journalists for the attack and requests the NFF and NPFL to ensure due and commensurate recompense from the management of Remo Stars FC to Ekerete Kelvin for the damages he suffered from the act
- The congress urged all NPFL clubs to ensure that their fans and supporters are better guided not to molest sports journalists covering the league, warning that any further attack on any sports journalist at any venue shall draw grave consequences from the body.
- The congress called on the Ministry of Youth and Sports, the Nigeria Football Federation, the League Management Company and the management of NPFL Clubs to ensure that sports journalists are well protected in the course of performing their sacred duty as critical stakeholders in sports.
- The congress resolved that members should suspend further application for membership registration with the National Secretariat of SWAN until the following issues are explicitly clarified:
- The life span and validity period of the identification card to be issued
- The justification for the increment of the registration fee to N3,500
- The percentage share of the registration fee accruing to state chapters
- Taking from the examples of standard practice by various other institutions where membership is determined bottom to top, from chapel and local organisational level up to the state council or chapters, and then to the national level, the congress observes that there is an aberration in the current registration process as it is tuned to operate from top to bottom with national SWAN wanting to determine membership for state and local chapters.
- The congress noted that secrecy is strange to the governance of SWAN just as ambiguity does not combine well with the profession of journalism and called for more transparency
- Congress directed the Lagos SWAN EXCO to go ahead to conduct its state chapter membership registration and update, pending when the ambiguities in the national registration are cleared
- Congress unanimously resolved that the SWAN City Project Management Committee should remain as a standing committee of Lagos SWAN until the project is achieved.
- Congress unanimously resolved that Fred Edoreh should officially join the Lagos SWAN City Project Management Committee, as the initiator, to enable his continued contribution towards the realisation of the estate and sports city project.
Communique Drafting Committee
- Dapo Sotuminu – Chairman
- Phemmy Adetula – Member
- Patrick Ibeh – Member