By Oluwole Francis
Chairman of Katsina State Athletics Association, Alhaji Ahmed Isa Kaita has been endorsed by the Northern states to continue their tenure as the Athletics Federation of Nigeria AFN President as the board elections come up on June 14 in Kebbi.
A former Nigerian quartermiler, Sadiq Abubakar said the right man for the job is Ahidjo Ahmed Isa Kaita because of his antecedents and passion for the sports.
He said as far as athletics is concerned, Kaita is a suitable candidate from the North that can move the sport to the next level particularly as the Olympic Games is fast approaching.
Abubakar said for many years, the athletics board has been engulfed by crisis hence the need for a fresh hand like Kaita to bring back the lost glamour.
He explained that Kaita is somebody who does play ethnicity in the development of the sport as he believes everybody will be carried along whether from the North, South, East or West.
“It is regrettable that our representative and former Prseident Ibrahim Gusau went there and started fighting the powers that be, the Minister which we did not quite support. We believe the North still has another tenure and that is why he is coming out to complete,” he said.
The former athlete disclosed that Kaita has the backing of all the Directors of Sports in the Northern region to continue the tenure of Gusau.
He said Kaita who is a board member of dissolved AFN and Chairman Marketing committee is coming in to resuscitate the sport through regular competitions from the grassroots in all regions of the country which is part of the efforts to rid the streets off crime by engaging the youths.
“He also intends to maximize the various failities lying fallow all over the country and see to the welfare of the athletes, coaches and technical officials during his tenure,” he said.
Abubakar added that he was glad that the country’s athletes are doing very well and can compete with the best nations like Jamaica, the USA and Britain at the next month’s Olympic Games in Tokyo.
The World Athletics and Confederation of African Athletics mandated the Nigeria to conduct fresh elections on to the board not later than June 14 in Kebbi State.
The AFN had been in crisis for over one year, with a faction led by duly elected president, Ibrahim Gusau, while vice president, Olamide George, heads the splinter group, which has the backing of the Ministry of Youth and Sports Development.
The President, the first and second Vice Presidents shall be elected by Congress, while the Zonal Representatives shall be elected by their respective zones, under the supervision of the Electoral Committee. One of the Vice Presidents shall be a female.