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Yusuf Alli, Ogunkoya, Fatima Yusuf, others warm up for AFN elections

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Nigerian ex-Olympian, Falilat Ogunkoya. Photo: Brila


• Okowa, Prof. Makanju, Ebewele, Fatula also in

The list of Nigeria’s former athletes warming up to be on the board of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) in the coming elections seems to be on the rise.

World Athletics (WA) during its recent reconciliatory tour of the country ordered the AFN to hold its congress to usher in a new board on or before June 14. Since then, many candidates from different zones have indicated their interest in the polls.

The Guardian learnt yesterday that Atlanta ’96 Olympics medalist, Falilat Ogunkoya, three-time Olympian and gold medal at Auckland ‘90 Commonwealth Games, Yusuf Alli, as well as former 400m runner, Fatima Yusuf, are the latest Nigerian ex-international athletes to signify their intention to enter the AFN board.

While Ogunkoya from Ogun State is aiming at joining the board from South West zone, former long jumper, Yusuf Alli, is warming up to pick his ticket from Lagos State. Ademolu Fatula, who is regarded as one of the best athletics statisticians in Nigeria, is eyeing the ticket from Ekiti State, just as Prof Olatunde Makanju is said to be warming up to pick the ticket from Oyo State. It was not clear yesterday if Olamide George, who is currently with Team Nigeria in the U.S. on the Relays tour will join the South West race from Ondo State.

In the North Central, Fatima Yusuf, who won 400 metres gold at Cairo ‘91 All-Africa Games, is said to be eyeing the ticket into the AFN board. She has Sunday Adeleye (Kogi) to battle with in that zone.

U.S.-based former hurdler, Victor Okorie, has reportedly been endorsed by all five Directors of Sports in the South East zone due to his contributions to athletics development in the zone, especially for sponsoring students from different states in the zone in the past three years.

In the South South zone, the chairman of Delta Sports Commission, Tony Okowa, is said to be interested in the AFN Presidency. He may have to face former Technical Director, Navy Commodore Omatseye Nesiama, who has already declared his interest for the AFN presidency. Also coming from the South South zone is Current Technical Director of the federation, Brown Ebewele, who, however, is eyeing a return through the Coaches Association.

It will be a straight battle between Ahmed Isa Kaita from Katsina State and Shehu Ibrahim Gusau (Zamfara) in the North-west zone, while former Nigeria and African triple jump champion, Rosa Collins, wants to return to the AFN board through the Nigerian Association of Women In Sports (NAWIS).

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