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Gadzama: Burning the bridge of friendship

*Only Gusau, Collins can re-contest on 12th July

I had made strong efforts to resist replying my friend, Wadzani Gadzama Fidelis Tafida, but truth must be told. Like every athletics follower and buff may have read on his page on Facebook in recent days, he has quitted the Ibrahim Gusau camp. He is now in the Solomon Ogba camp. He is an adult and his decisions needs to be so respected.

Hon Ibrahim Gusau and Wadzani Gadzama Fidelis...where do we draw the line?
Hon Ibrahim Gusau and Wadzani Gadzama Fidelis…where do we draw the line?


In the process of leaving, the board member of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) from 2013 to 2021 used certain unprintable language which are simply ungentlemanly and is not acceptable of a leader in any sphere of life. No matter how angered one is, there are some langue you CANNOT use either physically or better still in writing.

That apart, he has launched a presidential ambition. That is the point I owe my reading public a duty to say what is right. the sports federation appeal/petitions committee ordered for a re-run and not a fresh election. Therefore, only the persons who contested the last election that was cancelled can run and not a fresh process.

Anything short of this is a call for crisis, legal suits and all the rest. That is the point where the discussion to bring Solomon Ogba back by default of the fact that the proponents smuggled his company, Solid Works, into the board as sponsor DOES NOT mean he can still run for President on the 12th July election.

Solomon Ogba AFN President...undertaker of athletics now a saint
Solomon Ogba AFN President…undertaker of athletics now a saint

Like the grand scheme was designed, Gusau will have to be made to lose his zonal election. If that is the case, it makes Rosa Collins the automatic President of the AFN. No fresh candidate can come. It is a re-run. Its not a fresh process. If that happens, then, we are in a ship to be captained by the second female, a former athlete too.

Therefore, Gadzama, your presidential declaration is time-barred and statute-barred. It is not possible.

What Gadzama failed to tell the Nigerian athletics world and his close friends in the sport is, until some days ago, he was a follower of Gusau which he admitted. At what point did he and Gusau parted ways and what transpired. We deserve to know.

Two, for Gadzama to have massively taken Solomon Ogba to the bins for three and half years without cease including writing petitions to the IAAF is a known fact. That is why many of those who love and passionately follow you shared sentiments with you.

Then, how did the same ‘devil’ suddenly become a ‘saint’? When did you and Saint Solomon Ogba become paddies and he becomes the better candidate than Hon Ibrahim Gusau that you worked so well for especially in the 13th June election?

Mr Gadzama, these contradictions are just not explicable. They don’t make sense. Is athletics politics about Ayodele Fayose’s philosophy of ‘stomach infrastructure’ which the Warri man calls, ‘where belle face na there’? If this is the case, then, we can understand. Otherwise, we are getting the knell toll that you are not fighting a just and defined cause.

Assuming these facts are thrashed, why did you followed Ibrahim Gusau this far? If Saint Solomon Ogba is so great, why are you putting yourself forward as President? You should rather have called for an automatic return of Ogba. QED.

Sadly, except those who are interpreting the electoral guidelines for 2017 sports federations are reading it upside down, you like Ogba CANNOT contest the presidency of the AFN except if the entire election is cancelled and a fresh process is ordered. Anything short of these, I can approach a court of law to stop the charade.

Is it true that you had flown a kite that you had discussions with Messrs Brown Ebewele and his group in Abuja whereby you decided to support the Rosa Collins’ ambition and when that failed, you made a detour to declare Solomon Ogba a saint and then, you bidded for the seat yourself?

You are a leader. You have followers. A great leader is a mathematical function of a schooled followership. Where you allow your followers to feast on rumours and unbalanced information like what is flying against you, they will trade you at the commerce junction. We need to know why are we in the labyrinth where we are now.

The whole thing is about our common heritage, athletics. It is our common patrimony. We all deserve to know. If you must be the president, I must be convinced you will deliver. That is the point where I and you consistently have a common point as it concerns Solomon Ogba. If for any reason, I should know why I should follow you and I take a departure and go my way. This is the case for every person in the sport.

Gadzama, I wish you best of luck in all your endeavours.


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