Ogba, Anugweje advocate peace in AFN as more stakeholders dump Gusau
The crisis rocking the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) may have finally come to an end following a decision by the stakeholders to end their romance with former president of the body, Ibrahim Gusau. They have endorsed the leadership of Olamide George as president of the AFN.
Since the last quarter of last year, the AFN had been engulfed in controversies, which led to the impeachment of Gusau over allegations that he misappropriated funds he allegedly collected from the Federal Government for sponsorship of athletes to some international events.
Also, AFN former Technical Director, Sunday Adeleye was sacked and the body’s secretary general, Elijah Ademu was removed. One of the board members, former AFN President, Solomon Ogba resigned.
Not ready to give up, Gusau and his loyalists declared autonomy at a congress they organised in Awka, Anambra State.
However, a body called Official Stakeholders In Athletics Nigeria, declared in a statement yesterday it was time to end the crisis.
Among other things, the stakeholders said in the statement signed by Chief Solomon Ogba (Chairman, CAA Marketing and Media Rights Commission), Professor Lucas Ogunjimi (President, Nigeria Association of Athletics Technical Officials), Godwin Ogogo (President, Track and Field Coaches of Nigeria) and Professor Ken Anugweje (Director, African Athletics Development Centre, Port Harcourt) that they unequivocally endorse the AFN Board under the leadership of Olamide George.
Among other resolutions, the stakeholders observed in the latter dated February 17, 2020 and made available to The Guardian that: “Ibrahim Gusau has not been able to account for the funds he received from the Federal Government for the participation of Nigerian athletes at the U-18 and U-20 CAA Championship in Abidjan in April 2019;
“There is substantial evidence that AFN collected N13 million from the government;
“The chairman of Delta Sports Commission in sympathy with the pitiable condition of our athletes in Abidjan, gave his personal money so that the athletes could buy vital requirements. The money was not given to the athletes by the AFN leadership;
“As a result of the foregoing, there is total loss of confidence in Ibrahim Gusau by the athletes, their coaches and their parents. This has further resulted in the withdrawal of some of the athletes from athletics by their parents.”
The stakeholders then resolved:
“There must be transparency and accountability in the conduct of the affairs of the AFN;
“The removal of Ibrahim Gusau was necessary in order to restore the confidence and interest of athletes, coaches and technical officials in the AFN board; and,
“Government provides the funds for facilities and athletes development, so the federation must submit to the audit of its financial transactions by the Ministry of Youth and Sports Development.”
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