… We are the authentic federation
The ‘factional’ president of the Athletic Federation of Nigeria (AFN), Chief Tonobok Okowa has indicated his desire to reach out to the other ‘factional’ president, Engr Ibrahim Gusau to bring lasting peace to the federation.
He made this known during the inauguration of the AFN board by the minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare at the MKO Abiola National Stadium on Tuesday.
“By the Grace of God, we will meet and look into what has been going on. We will reach out to whatever faction that is in existence now as the one recognized by the World Athletics and the CAA.
“We will reach out to our brothers out there and see how we can bring lasting peace to the AFN,” he said.
Okowa who got elected on Monday further said his AFN led board is not autonomous and will continue to work with the Federal Government.
“AFN is not autonomous and we will continue to work with the Ministry of Sports and federal government,” he said.
In the same vein, Dare during his speech promised that the Federal Government will always be in support of the new board.
The minister said Nigeria will have a sigh of relief as the crisis bedeviling the Federation in the last 18 months comes to an end.
“For 18 months we’ve been dealing with crisis in AFN. I thank the ministry staff for their unwavering commitment and defending the position of Federal Government of Nigeria during the trying times. And now we can have a sigh of relief as the crisis rocking the Federation ends.
“Let me welcome the Athletic Federation of Nigeria board. The last one week has been so busy with elections from your states and but the next two weeks will be busiest week in our sports calendar because June 29 is day the window of qualifiers will close down.
He advised that the board must respect the AFN 2017 constitution and more importantly the Nigeria constitution.
“The board must avoid pitfalls and must follow the AFN Constitution of 2017 and also follow the Nigeria constitution and carry all stakeholders along. The welfare and support of athlete whether home based or abroad must be on the front burner,” the Minister advised.