Days after the Lagos chapter of the Sports Writers association of Nigeria (SWAN) rose from its Congress, the South West SWAN Forum held its own meeting where she upbraided her sitting National Chairman for his indiscretion in the controversial denial of Mr Mitchel Obi to run for the AIPS African Presidency.
The meeting which held on Sunday, 19th February, 2017 according to the communiqué issued at the end of the meeting was attended by representatives of SWAN from Ekiti, Ondo, Osun, Oyo, Lagos and Ogun sates.
The communiqué was signed by Messrs Boye Ajayi National VP (South West), Dele Ogunleye the Zonal Secretary and Akeen Abas who is the Vice Chairman, Oyo SWAN.
It also had present the National Vice President (South West), Deputy National Secretary of SWAN and the Zonal Secretary.
The forum deliberated on the on going disagreement over the denial of Mr. Mitchel Obi, the incumbent AIPS Africa to re-contest the position in the forthcoming AIPS electoral Congress slated for May in South Korea by the incumbent SWAN Chairman, Mr Honour Sirawoo.
The forum after much deliberations disagreed with the action of the SWAN National Chairman which denied Obi’s nomination and condemned such in its entirety.
The committee resolved that losing the seat does not serve the best interest of the Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN) as a body and Nigeria as a nation.
The forum condemns the fact that the National Executive Committee as a body and the highest organ of SWAN was not officially involved in the process of screening and denial.
The forum affirms that Mr. Mitchel Obi is a well recognised sports journalist duly registered with the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) and SWAN with a highly reputable track record of practice and mentorship for young professionals and condemns any attempt from any quarter to diminish and discredit his professional status and contributions.
The forum calls on the NEC to activate a process to remedy this situation, if there may still be chance to ensure that Nigeria and SWAN maintains its prominence and respect in the AIPS and it’s leadership of Africa.
While the forum understands the pain of Lagos State Chapter of SWAN, being that Mr. Mitchel Obi is its immediate constituent and fears of possible further injurious actions, it frowned at the action of Lagos SWAN in passing a vote of no confidence on the National President, saying such was too hasty.
The forum calls on all organs and chapters of the association to work together to seek ways to recover the position of the AIPS Africa Presidency by supporting the incumbent, Mr. Obi who is our senior colleague.
The forum tendered unreserved apology to Mr. Mitchel Obi and the sports community for any inconvenience this development might have caused.
The forum appeals to NEC to urgently call a full Council Meeting or National Congress to enable deeper understanding among members.
The forum noted that while the SWAN National Chairman is entitled to a Personal Assistant and possibly other staff that may be paid by him to help his office, he should restrain them, particularly one Lekan Ige said to be his PA, from dabbling into and making statements on issues affecting official organs and chapters of the association.
For the avoidance of doubt, the forum respectfully considered every chapter and organ of the association as very important and integral matters affecting any of us should not be subjected to unbridled flippancies.
It was also resolved that as matter of conciliation, NEC should give Mr. Mitchell Obi the backing and approval to participate in the African zone election that was shifted to October for he is eminently qualified.