A board member of Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN), Mr. Dare Esan hasÂ debunked reports that the less than two months old board isÂ in crisis.
Esan, a well travelled track and field journalistÂ and the Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN) representativeÂ on the board ofÂ the federation insists there is no iota of truth in reports of crisisÂ in both the conventional and social media.
“There is no crisis whatsoever in the federation. What rumour mongersÂ are feeding fat on are mere figment of imaginations ofÂ the fabricators who are determined to ensure the board is discreditedÂ even before it sets out to work,” Esan asserted.
“I really don’t know where people got the information from that theÂ AFN president plans to make the athletes’ representativeÂ the technical committee chairman. This is far from the truth becauseÂ there were some elections that came with positionsÂ during theÂ June 13Â polls into the board of the federation in Abuja.
“The positions of technical committee, athletes represenative and mediaÂ representative on the board cannot be filled by justÂ anybody.Â For exampleÂ SundayÂ Adeleye was elected to represent theÂ interest of the athletes on the board while Brown Ebewele wasÂ elected as the representative of the technical bodies of theÂ federation vis the coaches and the technical officials whichÂ means he is the natural head of the technical committee of the AFN,” he explained.
He added further that his position as the head ofÂ media and communications in the federation is also not negotiable.
“The AFN president is a responsible and reasonable person who knowsÂ about rules and regulations governing the administration of track andÂ field in Nigeria. HeÂ knows that it is the board of the federation and not just anÂ individual that will constitute its sub-committees. The code ofÂ governance booklet handed over byÂ the Sports Ministry to all federations clearly states under article 9.1Â that the board of each National Sports Federation shall constitute theÂ committeesÂ listed below, and or any other sub-committees as it deems fit, toÂ perform specific functions and make recommendations to the board.
Esan was also surprised about insinuations that the board plans to makeÂ a confirmed Charity Opara as the head of its youth sub-committee.
“We are not fools in the federation. If Opara, an Olympic silverÂ medallist and the fastest 400m runner in the world inÂ 1998 could be disqualified from contesting the AFN elections in JuneÂ on account of her doping infractions in the past, weÂ certainly will not shoot ourselves in the leg by endangering the livesÂ of our youths by allowing her to leadÂ them. This is far from the truth and the AFN president is a reformistÂ and has vowed to ensure tainted individuals are notÂ allowed to pollute the federation,” Esan stated last night.