*I have no god-father, just walking blind in this race
*I am very much more determined to win the ticket
By Olajide Fashikun
Sydney Olympics 4x400m gold medallist, Enefiok Udo-Obong has explained reasons behind why he declared his interest in running for the presidency of the Athletic Federation of Nigeria (AFN). The elections will come up on the 13th June.
Speaking to www.gongnews.net he said “former athletes do not necessarily make good administrators. Although, it takes sound knowledge of the terrain through training and experience in the business world to be in charge of a federation as complex as athletics.
“A lot of former athletes come and tell people that you have to be a former athlete to be an administrator. I can see their point, but you don’t have to be a former athlete to be a good administrator. I have undergone some training and programmes on sports management. This I think qualifies me better.”
Enefiok Udo-Obong added “I have not worked for anybody in the past 15 years so I have been able to lead others and that is the experience I want to bring on board. Contesting for positions in the federations is now robust courtesy of the sports reforms and that is why I became interested. See, when you are an athlete, you are an individual, so it is a different ball game to lead others.”
Asked about his opinion about autonomy in sports, Udo-Obong said it was not possible to keep government away from the running of sports as a sector. “Most of these federation presidents that are shouting about the minister’s interference came into the board because of government’s interference. So you cannot have total autonomy in sports,” Udo-Obong stated.
Udo Obong said “I am walking blind into the election having consulted only “my constituents, by that I mean our former athletes. I have no godfather or powerbroker to whom I will be answerable if I emerge”.
Udo-Obong ran the last leg of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games men’s 4x400metres relay final to win silver for Nigeria. But the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in 2008 stripped the Americans of the gold medal after Antonio Pettigrew admitted using performance-enhancing drugs during the Games and awarded the title to the Nigerian quartet of Udo-Obong, Clement Chukwu, Jude Monye and the late Sunday Bada. Fidelis Gadzama was also a member of that team.