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The Guardian lied against us- Athletics stakeholders

*Coaches, technical crew deny rejecting Sunday Adeleye

Allegations that major stakeholders have rejected the newly appointed Technical Director of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN), Mr. Sunday Adeleye, has been disputed by the persons that leading newspaper, The Guardian, claimed to have spoken to.

Adeleye who was in Ilorin waged a diplomatic war against the forces tat were against him. Brown Ebewele, Olamide George, Gabriel Okon were all present. They had to take permission to have a side bar and returned to address technical officials.

On return, the AFN Secretary General, Amaechi Akawo, introduced Sunday Adeleye to address us when Mr Brown Ebewele forced himself to speak. But by the following morning, Adeleye took over and ran the show resting the issue of who is the AFN Technical Director.

He (Adeleye) was at the Sports Arena of the University of Ilorin, at the ongoing National Youth Games. He received cheers from athletes and other spectators before heading to meet other officials at their stand to do what he knows to do best, fixing things.

The Technical Director was seen instructing athletes and their coaches on best way to achieve results, a move that a former AFN executive, who felt sidelined, did not feel comfortable with. All the troika fighting kept cool and worked with him.

The Guardian report: First to deny speaking with The Guardian newspaper report titled: Nigerian coaches, officials reject Adeleye as AFN technical director https://guardian.ng/sport/nigerian-coaches-officials-reject-adeleye-as-afn-technical-director/ was the President of Coaches Association of Nigeria, Gabriel Okon, who denied being signatory to a meeting purportedly held to reject Sunday Adeleye in Ilorin.

Three out of those mentioned as signatories of a sponsored publication which was circulating on Tuesday, also denied rejecting Adeleye.

Former javelin record holder, Pius Bazighe, said “I was embarrassed by The Guardian report. I thought that the newspaper was a credible source not realising it has descended to a platform to celebrate rumour. When we were growing up, reports in The Guardian were seen as sacred truth. It is sad where that newspaper is today sponsoring death of our sport and writing unsubstantiated reports. I was never part of the meeting when contacted on phone.”
“I was in the hostel when the so called meeting was held. I have received more than 50 calls and I repeated the same response I am giving you. I have registered my reservation about it. I am not happy my name was used wrongly by The Guardian,” he said.

Also when contacted, Adamu Musa, said he was still in transit when he was alleged to be in a meeting in Ilorin. I was yet to arrive Ilorin and couldn’t have been present at the meeting.

Musa said, “Adeleye was an athlete, participated and won laurels for Nigeria in All Africa Games, African junior championship in Ivory Coast, four-nations tournament in Cameroon and several other international championships. For me, I have no issues with his appointment. Those who have issues should not illegally join my name please.”

“Was it not the same person they claim is not qualified to be AFN Technical Director who as an athlete bagged two gold medals at National Sports Festival in Edo? As an administrator, he owns and runs two successful football clubs in Nigeria and Europe.

“Sunday Adeleye is presently the Chairman, Rowing, Canoeing and Sailing Association of Kaduna State as well as Vice Chairman, Beach Soccer Association of Kaduna State. He is also a consultant to the Rivers State Government on Sports. I know him very well and I am happy about his appointment.”

www.gongnews.net has the voice recordings of all the three denials against The Guardian report.

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