Crisis: 2 SWAN presidents emerge in Port Harcourt, Abuja

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Newly elected SWAN leadership at the Port Harcout congress
Newly elected SWAN leadership at the Port Harcourt congress

By Emmanuel Afonne

Two Presidents on Monday emerged at separate elective congresses in Port Harcourt, Rivers and Abuja, to pilot the affairs of the Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN).

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that while the Port Harcourt 2019 Triennial Delegates Congress returned Honour Sirawoo as National President for a 2nd term in office through a voice vote, a parallel group in Abuja, elected former Edo SWAN chairman, Ahmed Aigbona, as its president.

Aigbona was removed as Edo SWAN chairman on July 6, 2016  after he was elected a board member of the Edo State Football Association (FA) as he cannot hold two elective offices.

The Ahmed Aigbona-led executive of SWAN being inaugurated in Abuja
The Ahmed Aigbona-led executive being inaugurated in Abuja

Also elected in the Port Harcourt were 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 was elected as Secretary-General, while Bello Farouk emerged as the Treasurer, and Orji Samson Nwabebe, became the Financial Secretary.

Isaiah Benjamin, Chairman, SWAN Electoral Committee (SWANECO), said the positions of Deputy President, Vice President, North West and Deputy Secretary General were not occupied.

Benjamin who is the SWAN Chairman, Kaduna State said the vacant positions would be filled in due course as some of those who purchased the forms were absent at the congress, thereby contravening the SWAN statutes.

Delgates at the SWAN congress in Port Harcourt
Delgates at the SWAN Triennial Congress in Port Harcourt

The SWANECO chairman also said Kwara, Bauchi, Zamfara, Cross River and Gombe States where absent at the event in Port Harcourt, while Lagos came with five observers.

“Delegates from Ogun were attacked on their way and as such couldn’t make it to Port Harcourt,” he stated.

Thirty states attended the congress in Port Harcourt, while the Abuja event was graced by aggrieved members of SWAN who vowed vehemently opposed the return of Sirawo for a second term.

In a similarly development, Mike Oboh another member of the FCT SWAN emerged as Secretary-General of the Abuja faction.

The immediate-past Vice-President North West, Ado Salisu emerged Deputy President, while Femi Amusan from Oyo State became Vice-President South West.

Emmanuel Uja from Benue emerged as Vice-President, North Central; Loveday Herbert from Bayelsa became Vice-President South South, and Ismaila Mohammed from Jigawa was elected as Vice-President North West.

Ikem Asika from Anambra is the group’s Vice-President South East, while Monica Iheajam of The Sun Newspapers in Lagos was elected the Financial Secretary.

Delegates during the factional elective congress of SWAN in Abuja
Delegates during the factional elective congress of SWAN in Abuja

Meanwhile, Mike Oboh, factional Secretary-General of SWAN, in a statement on Monday in Abuja, said the re-elected SWAN president Sirawoo, has been suspended.

He explained that Sirawoo was suspended for acts inimical to the well-being of the body.

The Port Harcourt and Abuja congress held contrary to the directive by the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), that both events be suspended pending when issues surrounding the conduct of the elections were resolved.

NUJ had earlier threatened to sanction any group that would violate the directive. (NAN)


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