Outgoing Vice-president of the Athletics Federation of Nigerian (AFN), Olamide George, has fingered the ministry of Sports for interfering in the internal democratic mechanism of the AFN.
Reacting to an election guideline purportedly released by a staff of the ministry, Adisa Beyioku, George described the announcement as an attempt to hijack the electoral process in favour of their preferred candidate.
In a release signed and dated Thursday, 10th of June, George who was until recently, the preferred choice of some power brokers within the ministry made a quick turnaround to condemn the continued interference of some intruders within government.
George insisted that the 2017 constitution as agreed upon in a recent meeting between the AFN leadership, the Confederation of African Athletics and the World Athletics should be respected.
“It is very disturbing and sickening that we are having different directives from two quarters that are against the 2017 Constitution.
“The process is against the resolution reached with World Athletics and CAA. The above is against the law and it shall not stand. The genuine Congress men are already programmed to be disallowed from their orchestrated plans”.
He maintained that until the right and constitutional path is followed, he is pulling away from the unconstitutional process being orchestrated by the Ministry of Sports.
“We hereby pull away from the ongoing unconstitutional process until equity, justice and fair play prevails in compliance with the 2017 constitution”, George said.
Efforts to reach Adisa Beyioku at press time was prove abortive.
Reacting to the news, the AFN President, Engr Ibrahim Shehu Gusau lamented the continued interference in the internal working of the federation which has impeded its progress.
“I saw this coming and that was why I was harping on this all this while but many people thought it was all about personal fights. I have told anybody that cares to listen that the constitution of the AFN as domiciled with World Athletics, CAA and the Ministry supersedes every other guideline”.
“To remove or elect anybody, it must be according to the constitution as agreed on by all the 36 states of the Federation and the FCT alongside other relevant stakeholders”, Gusau continued.
The President called on all relevant stakeholders to rally round as one big family to build an athletics empire that generations unborn will be proud of.
“The President is the only person authorized to call a Congress. This will hold in Kebbi state on Monday and not Abuja. If you know you are a popular candidate or you have a candidate that can contribute to the growth of athletics in Nigeria, come and try your popularity at the polls in Kebbi state on Monday instead of hiding under institutions to destroy the sport you claim to love”.
Gusau re-emphasised the commitment of the federation to hold a free and fair election slated for Monday, 14th of June in Kebbi.