By Jide Olaniran
Ibrahim Gusau became the President of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria( AFN) in 2017 and it was obvious that some people preferred that the leadership mantle of the federation had fallen on someone else as there were allegations that others who contested the Presidential election with Gusau were not given level playing field, Sportivation.com.ng reports.
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So it was no love lost atmosphere between Gusau and some members of the executive from day one and in 2019 when there was a new sports minister the anti-Gusau group felt it was time to get back at the man they never wanted by getting the nod of the new minister to float a GUSAU MUST GO party even if it means the whole house is brought down to rubbles.
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They succeeded in getting the buying of the Minister, Sunday Dare into the project and that was how a problem that could have been solved amicably through the conflict resolution mechanism of the federation festered till this day and what do we have? Two Federations laying claim to legitimacy.
As it is now, there is the Ibrahim Gusau led AFN recognised by the World Athletics that governs the sport globally and there is the Olamide George-led faction recognised by the sports ministry under the leadership of Mr. Sunday Dare. So rather than playing the role of a peacemaker, the sports minister has taken sides with a faction which is rather unfortunate.
When you ask the Olamide George-led faction why they are against a legitimately elected President, they will say he is corrupt.
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” He (Gusau) and the technical director ( Adeleye) siphoned sponsorship money through personal account without letting other members of the executive know”
If that is true, then getting him (Gusau) and the technical director (Adeleye ) to face a panel of enquiry should not be rocket science except there is no constitution in place to do that.
Why should a simple case of requesting for accountability snowball into a crisis of ego threatening the aspiration of athletes in the country?
For your information, this crisis is costing Nigeria a place in the relay event at the Olympics, although they are pretending that all is well as they shop for events to increase the chances of the country which hang in the balance.
A corrupt official should not be difficult to impeach, suspend or sack through a legitimate means if truly it is all about corruption except there is more to this that we were not told.
If truly the fight is about corruption the congress of the body (AFN) should have acted all along before we got into this cul de sac.
It is not too late to call a congress without any extraneous interest, Nigerians deserve to know the truth.