World Athletics Wades Into AFN Crisis

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Two top officials from World Athletics (WA) are expected in Abuja this weekend to mediate in the leadership crisis rocking the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN).

Since last year, the AFN has not known peace following a battle for supremacy between two factions, one led by Ibrahim Shehu-Gusau and the other by Olamide George.

The crisis took a new twist in July last year when a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja (Court 3) affirmed that Ibrahim Shehu-Gusau remained the president of the body. The court nullified the ‘purported’ suspension and subsequent impeachment of Gusau, as well as all other actions and resolutions taken by the Olamide George-led AFN, just as it set aside the purported appointment of George as Acting President of the AFN.

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Both the Sports Ministry and the Olamide George-led AFN board said it was merely a declaratory judgment that defined rights of parties, insisting that it was not implementable. They later appealed against the judgment.

World Athletics (WA) has dispatched two top officials to meet with the two warring factions on Monday in Abuja with a view to finding a solution to the problem.

The decision by WA to wade into the AFN crisis is coming amidst the dark cloud surrounding Nigeria’s participation in the World Athletics Relays billed to hold in Silesia, Poland soon.

The World Athletics (WA) released names of countries that would participate in the event on Wednesday with Nigeria conspicuously missing on the list after it failed to send her entries for the event.

However, an official of the AFN sounded optimistic yesterday that Nigerian athletes would feature in the World Relays.

“I can tell you that Nigerian athletes will participate in the World Relays,” the official said. “We have prepared our athletes for the event and everything will be done to make sure they attend.”

 

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