The prolonged face-off between estranged president of The Athletic Federation of Nigeria (AFN), Ibrahim Shehu Gusau and the executive committee of the track and field governing body is still stirring several talking points less than two weeks to their proposed elective congress.
Megasportsarena.com reports that the Gusau issue is part of an update from the AFN’s secretariat, even as the body’s secretary-general, Prince Adisa Adeniyi Beyioku announced that a tentative timetable had been released for the June 14 Elective Congress to usher in a new board.
According to the timetable sent to the global sanctioning body, World Athletics by Beyioku, the pools will be set in motion with an extraordinary congress of the federation, where a three-man electoral commission will be appointed and inaugurated in accordance with article 7.2.1 of the 2017 AFN constitution.
Beyioku stressed that World Athletics has already affirmed that article 7.2.1 will be used to conduct the elections, following which he disclosed that the appointment and inauguration of the electoral commission will midwife the process for the Elective Congress on June 8 in Abuja.
The secretary-general added that all of Nigeria’s State Athletics Associations, which constitute the 37-member congress, have been notified about the new chain of upcoming issues, just as the AFN earlier sought the approval of the timetable from World Athletics.
He explained that this became necessary following the alleged refusal of Gusau to transmit a letter to the secretary-general to convene and prepare the programme for the extraordinary congress – in accordance with articles 4, 6.1.4, 8.3.6 and 8.3.9 of the AFN’s constitution.
This is despite the board having already reported Gusau’s alleged violations of several articles of the AFN constitution and terms of agreement reached at a reconciliation meeting with members of the executive board along with two officials of Confederation of African Athletics (CAA).
The AFN scribe further revealed that WA’s attention had been drawn to Gusau’s infractions by disregarding the world governing body’s letter to him that the 2017 AFN constitution is the officially recognized document which must be used to conduct the June 14 Elective Congress.
Beyioku reiterated: “Both the CAA and WA have affirmed that they only recognise the 2017 constitution which was adopted at the congress on November 16, 2017 with Mr Gusau presiding as the president of the Federation. We have forwarded the purported guidelines released by his Electoral Commission to WA.
“The communiqué issued after the disputed congress reportedly held on May 12, 2021 where the agreements reached at April’s reconciliation meeting were rejected as well as the 2017 constitution which both the CAA and WA insist must be used for the conduct of the elections.”
WA had in a letter through the chief executive officer, Jon Ridgeon and signed by Carolyn Launios, executive assistant categorically denied the purported amendments of the 2017 constitution reportedly carried out at a disputed congress in Awka in December 2019.
The letter, which also warned Gusau that WA would exercise the powers conferred on it by the 2019 WA constitution if its instructions are ignored, added: “World Athletics position is that the 2017 AFN constitution subsists.
“For the purpose of clarity, World Athletics has never recognised and does not recognize the so called 2019 constitution, so any election must be held in accordance with the 2017 constitution.”