By: Felix Ikpotor
A fresh leadership crisis is now rocking the Sports Writers Association of Nigeria, SWAN, as the body on Monday elected two separate executive councils to pilot the affairs of the body.
While one faction of the association had its election in Abuja, the other faction led by the incumbent president Honour Sirawoo had its election in Port Harcourt.
While the Abuja faction elected former Edo State Chairman, Ahmed Aigbona as its president, the Port Harcourt faction re-elected Mr Honour Sirawoo for a second term.
In his acceptance speech after the elective Congress held in Port Harcourt, Sirawoo pledged to sustain the quality and selfless leadership during his second term in office.
PHSpectator reports that thirty states attended the Triennial Delegates Congress including the Federal Capital Territory held in Port Harcourt.
Those elected were Bonny Nyong, National Vice President , South South, Dan Musa Mohammed, North Central, Jiboh Zakari, North East, Chigozie Chukwuleta, South East, Jude Opara, Secretary General, Bello Farouk, Treasurer and Orji Samson Nwabebe, Financial Secretary.
The positions of Deputy President, Vice President, North West and Deputy Secretary General were declared vacant by the Chairman of the SWAN Electoral Committee, SWANECO, Mr. Isaiah Benjamin who is also SWAN Chairman of Kaduna State.
Meanwhile, Mr Mike Oboh, who emerged the new Secretary-General of SWAN in the factional election held in Abuja in a statement on Monday, said the former president of the association, Honour Sirawoo, has been suspended.
He explained that Mr Sirawoo was suspended for acts inimical to the well-being of the body.
Mr Oboh, a member of the FCT chapter and former Kano State SWAN Chairman, was elected as Secretary-General.
Both Messrs Aigbona and Oboh were elected unopposed, alongside seven others who were also elected unopposed.
The association’s immediate-past Vice-President North West, Ado Salisu, equally emerged Deputy President, while Femi Amusan from Oyo State became Vice-President South West.
Emmanuel Uja emerged the Vice-President, North Central, with Loveday Herbert from Bayelsa as the new Vice-President, South South and Ismaila Mohammed from Jigawa as Vice-President, North West.
Ikem Asika from Anambra emerged Vice-President, South East, while Monica Iheakam of The Sun Newspapers in Lagos is the Financial Secretary.
The new officials were immediately sworn in by Rosemary Hamidu, an Abuja-based lawyer.
Speaking after the inauguration, Aigbona said the association would work towards ensuring a new drive for sports writers to get their proper place in the development of sports in the country.
“The new leadership will carry out this association’s activities in line with the constitution of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) and the SWAN statutes.
“That is where we are, and we will not trample upon the rights of members.
“We will respect everybody and give the association a better face,” he said.
“There are several measures that we will need to take to instil discipline. But that is the first step,” he said.
The SWAN president further said the association would vigorously pursue interests that would be of larger benefit to its members, just as he pledged to operate an open door policy.
He charged members to be steadfast as they go along with the new thinking of the leadership.
Mr Aigbona said the registration fee for members would now be N1,500 for three years.
He urged all aggrieved members over the past three years to return to the fold as the new leadership would want the association to remain as a family.