The new President of Athletics Federation of Nigeria,Honourable Ibrahim Gusau has promised an open door policy following his election yesterday in Abuja.
Gusau, a former member of the House of Representatives polled 47 votes against the three his only challenger,former national triple jump champion,Rosa Collins got to succeed Evangelist Solomon Ogba as the new man that will direct the affairs of the federation for the next four years.
I am going to operate an open door policy and will be open to suggestions and constructive criticisms as we strive to reposition the sport that gave Nigeria her first Olympic gold medal,’he said.
Gusau also promised to make sure a proper nursey is built for the sport that will produce young and enterprising athletes who will grow to become forces to reckon with in continental and globa athletics.
‘The task before us is to develop track and field at both ends of the spectrum, at the grassroots level and at the high performance level.We will ensure there is sufficient recruitment of participants, provide programmes that enable participants to flourish, and prepare outstanding participants for representation at the next level up.’’
‘’ No more will our sport remain on the pedestrian path. We shall return to the pole position in Africa and in the world.We have laid out the plans. Now that you have popularly elected our team, we shall set to work immediately.
Our athletics is like a nation coming out of war. There are destructions and debris everywhere. We must start from the scratch. We must begin from ground zero. The remnants of war will be picked and reconstructed.’’
Gusau promised to start putting necessary structures in place to build a foundation that will make transition from the grassroots level to elite level even as he promised to heal whatever wounds the election may have opened.
‘You win some, you lose some. In an election somebody must win and this is why we will extend hands of friendship to those who lost out in the election to come and join us and restore the sport’s lost glory,” he said.
Olamide George, a member of the Ondo State House of Assembly was elected the vice president. He polled 43 votes against the three polled by former Nigerian and Africa’s queen of the track, Mary Onyali.