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