Suspended President of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN), Ibrahim Gusau is in for stronger censure as a panel of the Nigeria Olympics Committee (NOC) indicted him, saying his declaration of AFN’s autonomy from the Ministry of Youth and Sports Development was out of order and impossible because the Ministry will always supervise National Sport Federations.
The committee also endorsed the removal of erstwhile AFN technical director, Sunday Adeleye saying that he stands removed.
Set up by NOC at its meeting of December 11, 2019 and headed by NOC’s second Vice President, Mr. Francis Orbih, the committee had quietly presented its report on the situation in Athletic Federation of Nigeria (AFN) to the Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Mr. Sunday Dare at the National Stadium, Surulere last Friday at a low-key event.
It said it discovered that the leadership crisis in the AFN had been brewing since the last national Federation’s elections in June 2017 and worsened before the 12th African Games in Morocco in August 2019 when some board members asked Gusau to step aside as president and be investigated. Most AFN board members have scores to settle with each other in addition to ego, emotions and sentiments that now threatened the sport.
On the declaration of autonomy from the Ministry by Gusau, the Committee found that “The declaration of autonomy by AFN was out of order as that is practically not possible. The Ministry will always retain a supervisory role over all the activities of National Sport Federations.”
The NOC Committee supported the idea that Ibrahim Gusau should appear before the investigation panel set up by the December 3, 2019 AFN Board meeting, though it recommended to the ministry, but might consider the expansion of the investigative panel to include “representatives of NOC, Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development and the Federal Ministry of Justice” so that the suspended AFN president can defend the allegations leveled against him within two weeks.
It also recommended the removal of former AFN Technical Director, “The position of the Technical Director of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria is by appointment. In view of the crisis surrounding the appointment of Mr. Sunday Adeleye and the report of the Ministerial Panel on Doha, this Committee hereby recommends that Mr. Sunday Adeleye stands removed as AFN Technical Director.”
Meanwhile, the Committee cleared the way for the NOC and the Ministry of Youth and Sports Development to continue working with the acting leadership of the AFN saying that “The NOC in partnership with the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development should work with the group that is ready to work with it to achieve” the goal of excelling at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.