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AFN candidate, Collins raises the alarm over cancelled presidential election



Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) presidential aspirant in the just concluded elections into the boards of national federations, Rosa Collins has questioned the rationale behind the decision of Youth and Sports Minister, Solomon Dalung to cancel the bye-elections into various sporting federations scheduled to take place a day before their inauguration.

Delegates for AFN, Gymnastics Federation of Nigeria (GFN) and Nigeria Taekwondo Federation from all parts of the country were already gathered inside the Abuja National Stadium last Thursday for the elections only to be told that the re-scheduled presidential election had been cancelled. Only GFN later held their elections on Friday.

The decision to hold a bye-election emanated from verdicts of the Election Appeals Committee, which cancelled June 13, 2017 general Nigeria Sports Federation election that produced an Aspirant, Alhaji Ibrahim Gusau as AFN President. The Appeals Committee was chaired by the acting Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Youth and Sports Development.

Injured by the reversed decision allegedly solely taken by Dalung, Collins described the incident as abnormal and wants justice to be done.The former African record holder in triple jump said: “This election has been postponed times without number only for the Minister to tell us that there would be no bye election again after delegates from all states of the federation have gathered at the National stadium.

“…There is this man called Ibrahim Shehu Gusau, he lost woefully in the primary of Zamfara State gubernatorial election… this man does not even have passion for sports. I don’t know what he is looking for in athletics. There is no single athlete or track and field star in Zamfara.

“Unlike in my state, Delta has been ruling in sports since 1944, a state where I was born. I have contributed to the growth and development of sports in this country. I have served this nation more than any other person have done, I don’t see Gusau coming here to deny me of my right.

‘’Up till now, no reason was given for the cancelation of the re-scheduled election; I think Nigerian government needs to start evaluating peoples’ brain before giving them ministerial posts.

‘’The Minister has just buried athletics again. With this kangaroo leadership, we will look for athletics and we will not find the game. If we continue like this, international body will ban athletics and all Nigeria athletes will not have platform to compete again, is this what we are looking for in Nigeria,’’ she questioned.

Dalung had in his inaugural speech during the swearing-in of 29 out of 31 constituted federations asserted that he had no hand in the emergence of any board member nor their leaders.

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Solomon Dalung
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