The South West Forum of the Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN) after its emergency meeting in Lagos on Saturday said it disagrees with the action of the National SWAN President, Honour Sirawoo, who unilaterally denied a veteran sports journalist, Mitchell Obi, endorsement to re-contest as President, AIPS-Africa.
A communique released on Sunday by the forum, condemned the action in its entirety.
“The committee reads: “Losing the seat does not serve the best interest of the Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN) as a body and Nigeria as a nation.
“The forum condemns the fact that the National Executive Committee as a body and organ of SWAN was not officially involved in the process of screening and denial.
“The forum affirms that Mitchell Obi is a well-recognised sports journalist, dully registered with the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) and SWAN with a highly reputable track record of practice and mentorship for young professionals.
“And condemns any attempt from any quarters to diminish and discredit his professional status and contributions,’’ declared the forum.
The body therefore called on the National Executive Council (NEC) of SWAN to activate a process to remedy this situation, if there may still be chance to ensure that Nigeria and SWAN maintained its prominence and respect in the AIPS and its leadership of Africa.
The forum was attended by representatives of SWAN from Ekiti, Ondo, Osun, Oyo, Lagos and Ogun states. Also present at the forum were National Vice-President (South West), Deputy National Secretary of SWAN and the Zonal Secretary.
Mitchel Obi, the incumbent president of AIPS-Africa is bidding to re-contest the position in the forthcoming AIPS electoral Congress slated for May 9 to May 13 in South Korea but the incumbent National SWAN President, Honour Sirawoo, unilaterally refused to endorse his nomination as required by AIPS.
The Forum tendered unreserved apology to Obi and the sports community for any inconvenience this development might have caused. The forum appeals to NEC to urgently call a full Council Meeting or National Congress to enable deeper understanding among members.
The communique was signed by Boye Ajayi, National VP (South West), Dele Ogunleye, Zonal Secretary, Akeen Abas, Vice-Chairman, Oyo SWAN.