By Amaechi Agbo
With the crisis raging between the ministry of sports and the Athletics Federation of Nigeria, AFN, headed to Supreme Court of judgement, the Technical Director, AFN, Mr Sunday Adeleye has stated that the federation does not have issues with the ministry of youth and sports development.
Speaking in an interview in Abuja, Mr Adeleye noted that both the federation and the ministry are partners in progress and development of Nigeria athletics games.
Th technical director who said that the matter initially started as an in-house misunderstanding was blown out of proportion and given various colouration to achieve a certain projection outside what was the original issue.
“The matter here actually started as in-house problem between us and members of the board and I think we don’t have issues with the ministry of youth and sports. We are partners in progress but it is shocking that now we are going to court with the ministry,” Mr Adeleye told Bestchoicesports.com.ng in an exclusive interview in Abuja
Proffering solutions to the lingering quagmire, Mr Adeleye said the only way to go is for all the remain law abiding. To respect the court rulings ad let sleeping dog lie.
“The solution is for all of us like we said after the judgement of the Court of Appeal, where we said that there is no victor and there is no vanquished and then it is not about we winning, it’s a win for the whole family in court.
“We are all gentlemen. The minister of youth and sports is a gentleman and by his experience, I think the best thing to do is to be law-abiding. We are all law-abiding citizens and he is our big brother up there who studied in the US and he knows about law.
“The simplest thing for him to do is to respect the rule of law and respect the judgement of the court as given. It is a family thing and I see no reason we should be pushing and dragging it because it is not in the interest of anybody. I am not the minister of sports, neither is Gusau (AFN President) but he (Dare) is the minister of sports. But if anything goes wrong in sports, he will be out there to give an account and I am sure anybody holding a public office would want his tenure prosperous and progressive.
“I believe he would not want history to have it that this whole thing ended this way in his own time,” he stated.
On the challenges facing the AFN, the technical director said that it was in a move to surmount the challenges in the federation they a Director-General was appointed to oversee the day-to-day activities or administration of the federation.
“A lot of challenges are out there. The federation cannot run the way it is running right now where you have just about only six staff or five staffs coming from the ministry to say they are staffs of the federation.
“We have several departments; nobody is manning those departments. How do you want to compete with the other federations around the world? That is why we came up with the office of Director-General who is very active, prompt and swift in response.
“We looked at it again, we know we sign contracts but there is nobody to take care of those files. We came up again and said we need a legal adviser so that we don’t make mistakes. We have a lot of people and corporate organisations that want to do business with us. Now we have a legal person.
“We also said that we need a treasurer who is important for our accountability, we also moved for that.
“There are several more departments that are lying fallow. The way the ministry wants the whole thing to run, it will be very difficult and that is why we said that we are partners in progress.
“There is a staff that is posted as secretary to the federation, we said ‘ok, let’s work together and let him act as liaison officer. Let him take whatever we are doing in the federation back to the ministry and he brings back from the ministry to us’.
“With the system, they will be in the know of what we are doing because we want to carry them along as partners in progress, he concluded.
By Amaechi Agbo