By Joy Odor
Nigeria’s Minister of Sports has been fingered as being responsible for the lingering crisis rocking Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN), resulting to emergence of two heads of the body as a result of his parallel congress held in Abuja.
Kaduna based Athletics Ambassador Nuhu Yusuf while commenting on the crisis he described as embarrassing to Sport community, expressed displeasure over interference and meddlesome attitudes of Nigeria’s Sports Minister, describing Dare’s action as affront to High court ruling affirming Engr. Gusau as legitimate and duly elected President of AFN .
The Athletics enthusiast joined other prominent Sport personalities in calling on President Muhammadu Buhari to wade in and prevail on his Minister to obey court order by legitimising Gusau led board as the only AFN .
Yusuf decried distractions, retrogression and domino effects the crisis would have on Nigeria’s athlets and their performance in local, regional and global competitions, urging World Athletics to immediately rise to her duties and responsibilities of ensuring discipline and managing conflicts amongst member nations.
” What worries me most is the silence attitude displayed by World Athletics (WA) and CAA over what is currently going on in Nigeria, are they happy with the situation or they are taking side with the fraudulent board constituted by Sunday Dare?
“We all know that the Minister is a staff of the federal government and have no right or power to interfere with the activities of AFN. The world athletics bodies must do the needful by calling on Mr Sunday Dare to order before we lose our place in the international world,” he lamented.
Shehu Sani , a Senator noted for taking firm decisions on burning National issues has also voiced his support for Ibrahim Shehu Gusau as the duly elected AFN President.
Sani while lending his support to Gusau’s election, added that the Kebbi’s congress was the one recognized by a High court ruling and acknowledged by World Athletics body.
An Abuja based sport analyst John Bulus on his part challenged World Athletics to be firm in decisions and pronouncements by adopting and implementing her punitive measures as contained in articles recommending sanctions on unruly Athletics administrators whose actions could jeopardize development of athletics in their respective states.
Bulus wondered why global regulatory bodies, particularly the WA had been soft on the factional crisis bedeviling Nigeria’s Athletics, adding that if left unchecked would diminish progress already made by the nation on global stage in Athletics.