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Nine months after, athletes get payment for trip to Abidjan

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• I am still AFN’s president, Gusau insists

After about nine months, Nigerian youth and junior athletes to the last Confederation of African Athletics CAA U-18/U-20 championships in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire have received their allowances owed them by the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN). The championship took place in April last year.

The athletes and their officials spent three days on the road trip to Abidjan and were not paid their allowances, even after the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development had claimed it released N13 million for the competition.

The Guardian learnt yesterday that the sports minister, Sunday Dare, had paid the athletes half of their entitlement with a promise to pay the balance soon.

“The athletes are very happy now, the Athletes’ Representative on the board of the AFN, Charles Himah told The Guardian. “They are looking forward to the All Comers competition in Akure and Ade Ekiti early next month. Now, the young athletes know that the AFN and the sports ministry care for their welfare. We are very grateful to the minister for coming to the rescue of the athletes, who were subjected to indecent treatments just because they wanted to represent Nigeria,” he stated.

Meanwhile, Ibrahim Gusau, at the weekend insisted that he remained the president of the AFN. Nine members of the AFN impeached Gusau last week in Abuja, but he has insisted that he remained the duly elected president of the federation.

The federation has been trapped in controversies since the last quarter of 2019, which resulted in the board suspending Gusau as president, with his deputy, Olamide George, stepping in as the acting president.

Among the allegations levied against Gusau was gross violation of the provisions of the federation’s constitution as well as refusing to pay athletes their wages after representing the country at international competitions.Gusau said the meeting held by the board in Abuja was illegal, which according to him, meant the decision to impeach him was not valid.

“My attention has been drawn to publications in the media that I have been impeached as the President of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria by some members of Board of the Federation, led by the suspended 1st Vice President, Hon. Olamide George.“It is on record that the alleged board meetings held in Abuja on December 3, 2019 and January 23, 2020 are illegal, unconstitutional and all decisions taken at both meetings are null and void. Consequently, they are of no effect.”

“I have approached a court of competent jurisdiction for the interpretation of various provisions of our Constitution.“To that extent, I remain the duly elected President of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria.”


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