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Three candidates battle for AFN Presidency

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Following World Athletics’ (WA) order to the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) to hold its elective congress before June 14, 2021, three candidates have thrown their hats in the ring for the leadership of the body.

The order was handed down to the AFN at the end of the crisis resolution meeting with visiting officials of the world body in Abuja last week. The two top WA officials made up of the chairman of Athletics Kenya, Jackson Tuwei, and a Chief Executive Officer of the Confederation of African Athletics (CAA), a Senegalese, were in Abuja for two days to broker peace with the two warring factions of the AFN, one led by Ibrahim Shehu-Gusau and the other by Olamide George.

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The Guardian learned yesterday that the three candidates, who have signified their intention, include two from the south and one from the north.

Among the two candidates from the south is former Technical Director of the AFN, Omatseye Nesiama, while the other is said to be a current chairman of a sports commission in the south-south. The northern candidate is said to come from Zamfara, the home state of Ibrahim Shehu-Gusau.

It was not clear yesterday if the two officials currently holding different factions in the AFN, Gusau and Olamide George, will join the race in the June 14 election.

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It was further learned yesterday that United States-based former hurdler, Victor Okorie, has signified his intention to be on the new AFN board. Okorie, Founder of Southeast Sports Foundation, has been sponsoring athletes and coaches to different events in the last two years.

He has reportedly been endorsed by the five Directors of Sports in the Southeast ahead of the coming AFN election.

The Guardian recalls that the AFN, with Solomon Ogba as president and Nesiama as technical director, produced many young athletes for the country, including Tobi Amusan, Ese Brume, and Divine Oduduru through various youth programmes.

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