The crisis rocking the Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN) further deepened on Monday as two Presidents and executives were elected at separate congresses held in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital.
The factional executives are expected to run the association’s affairs for the next three years.
Reports from the 2019 Port Harcourt Triennial Delegates Congress indicated that current National President, Honour Sirawoo was returned for a 2nd term in office through a voice vote, while the parallel group in Abuja elected former Edo State SWAN chairman, Ahmed Aigbona, as the new president.
However, Aigbona is said to have been sacked as Edo SWAN chairman on July 6, 2016 for his ineligibility to hold two elective offices after being elected Board member of the Edo State Football Association (FA).
Meanwhile, the Port Harcourt convention also witnessed the elections of Vice Presidents Bonny Nyong, South South; Dan Musa Mohammed, North Central; Jiboh Zakari, North East, and Chigozie Chukwuleta, South East.
Jude Opara, a member of the FCT Council was elected the Secretary-General, while Bello Farouk emerged as Treasurer, and Orji Samson Nwabebe is the Association’s Financial Secretary.
In his remarks, Chairman of SWAN Electoral Committee (SWANECO) for the Port Harcourt convention, Isaiah Benjamin, said the positions of Deputy President, Vice President, North West and Deputy Secretary General are yet to be occupied.
Benjamin, who is the SWAN Chairman, Kaduna State chapter, said the vacant positions would be filled in due course as some of those who purchased the forms were absent at the congress in contravention of the existing SWAN constitution.
He listed Kwara, Bauchi, Zamfara, Cross River and Gombe States as those that were absent at Port Harcourt, just as Lagos stormed the event with five observers.
The Electoral Committee chairman also explained that “Delegates from Ogun were attacked on their way and as such couldn’t make it to Port Harcourt” for the election.
He stated that in all, delegates from 30 state chapters of the Association attended the Port Harcourt congress.
For the Abuja election, reports indicated that in attendance at the event were so-called aggrieved SWAN members, vehemently opposed the return of Sirawo for a second term as president.
Consequently, Mike Oboh a member of FCT SWAN emerged as factional Secretary-General of the Abuja group. Also, the immediate-past Vice-President North West, Ado Salisu emerged Deputy President, while Femi Amusan from Oyo State is the new Vice-President South West.
Simialarly, Emmanuel Uja from Benue chapter emerged as Vice-President, North Central; Loveday Herbert of Bayelsa State chapter is the Vice-President South South, and Ismaila Mohammed from Jigawa elected as Vice-President North West.
Also on the Abuja factional executives are Ikem Asika from Anambra, who emerged as Vice-President – South East, while Monica Iheajam of The Sun Newspapers in Lagos was elected the Financial Secretary.
Meanwhile, the factional SWAN Secretary-General, Mike Oboh, said in Abuja, that Sirawoo, purportedly re-elected as SWAN President at the Port Harcourt conference has been suspended from office.
In a statement on Monday, Oboh explained that Sirawoo was suspended for acts inimical to the well-being of the body.
News Agency of Nigeria reports that the Port Harcourt and Abuja congresses held contrary to directives by the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), that both events be put on hold pending the resolution of issues surrounding the conduct of the elections
The NUJ had earlier threatened to sanction any of the groups that flout its directives. (NAN)