By Akorede Omakinwa
Abuja, – Chairmen of state chapters of the Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN) have made a bold move to save the Association from the brink of collapse it has drifted into.
The chairmen, as well as representatives of other chairmen not available, have set up an Electoral Committee to organise elections into the Association’s National Executive Committee (NEC).
According to the chairmen, who have gone on to inform the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) of this development, the new electoral body is to swing into action immediately.
The chairmen gave the new body, tagged “SWAN Credentials Committee (SWANCredCom)’’, six weeks to organise free and fair elections in Abuja.
The body, which is headed by Idris Abdulrahman, a former Chairman of Kano SWAN, has seven members who are all drawn from the country’s six geo-political zones.
The chairmen, in a letter to the NUJ President, Chris Isiguzo, recalled that the issue of SWAN National Elections had generated some controversy in recent weeks.
“You will recall that in a recent appeal to you a group of our members, tagged “Concerned SWAN members”, demanded that the 2019 SWANECO as presently put together by the National Chairman of SWAN, Honour Sirawoo, was inappropriately constituted.
“The group (had) also argued that the committee was not going to organise free and fair elections, pointing out several anomalies and further predicating the demand on the arguments of several congresses of some state chapters of the association.
“You will no doubt agree with this group, as well as those state chapters, that indeed there is a cause for concern on the state of affairs in SWAN.
“This situation, and the pressing need to right the wrongs and put the Association back on its feet, has therefore forced several members of the Association to meet in Ilorin on Tuesday, with representatives from 22 of the Association’s state chapters,’’ the chairmen said.
The chairmen, in the letter signed by Akpera Nase and Ahmed Aigbona from Benue and Edo respectively, said SWANCredCom, is to organise the elections in Abuja under the supervision of NUJ.
“The committee is also to ensure all efforts are made to have all the state chapters represented at the elections.
“ It is our expectation that the committee, in spite of prevailing circumstances, will be able to organise free and fair elections which will bring into place a new leadership in the Association.’’
The committee headed by Abdulrahman also has Timothy Omodude (Edo), Zare Baba (Adamawa), Abdulrahman Abolore (Lagos), Kennedy Onwunali (Imo), John Adams (Niger) and Abdullahi Tanko (Katsina);