By Amaechi Agb
The crisis rocking the Sports Writers Association of Nigeria, SWAN, Monday deepened as two presidents emerged from two factional elections.
First was the declaration of the Edo State SWAN chairman, Ahmed Aigbona was declared the winner of a parallel election conduct in Abuja.
Few hours later, the incumbent president, Honor Sirawo was returned for a second term in another election held in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
The election in Abuja saw the emergence of Edo State chairman, Ahmed Aigbona, as president and Mike Oboh a member of the FCT chapter as Secretary-General.
Both Aigbona and Oboh, who was a former Chairman of Kano State Chapter, were elected unopposed, alongside seven others who were also elected unopposed.
The immediate-past Vice-President North West, Ado Salisu emerged Deputy President, while Femi Amusan from Oyo State became Vice-President South West.
Emmanuel Uja from Benue is also the Vice-President, North Central, with Loveday Herbert from Bayelsa as the new Vice-President South South, and Ismaila Mohammed from Jigawa is Vice-President North West.
Ikem Asika from Anambra is Vice-President South East, while Monica Iheajam of The Sun Newspapers in Lagos is the Financial Secretary.
In Port Harcourt, Mr. Sirawoo was returned as President of the association for a second term of three years unopposed.
Also elected were Bonny Nyong, National Vice President, South South, Dan Musa Mohammed, North Central, Jiboh Zakari, North East, Chigozie Chukwuleta, South East, Jude Opara, Secretary General, Bello Farouk, Treasurer and Orji Samson Nwabebe, Financial Secretary.
The positions of Deputy President, Vice President, North West and Deputy Secretary General were declared vacant by the Chairman of the SWAN Electoral Committee, SWANECO, Mr. Isaiah Benjamin who is SWAN Chairman of Kaduna State.
He said the vacant positions would be filled in due course as some of those who purchased the forms were not present, thereby contravening the Statutes of the Association.
However, in a swift turn of event, the Mr Aigbona suspended Mr Sirawo from SWAN related activities.
“The new leadership will carry out this association’s activities in line with the constitution of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) and the SWAN statutes.
“That is where we are, and we will not trample upon the rights of members.
“We will respect everybody, and give the association a better face,” he said.
Aigbona said the former president of the association, Honour Sirawoo, has been suspended for carrying out acts inimical to the well-being of the body.
“I hereby issue an order suspending the immediate past president of SWAN, Honour Sirawo from all sports related activities with immediate effect.
“Sirawo’s suspension is as a result of unprofessional actions he took while in office.
“It will interest you to note that Sirawo while president unilaaterally registered SWAN with the Corporate Affairs Commission, CAC. This action is in violation of the status of the association and that of our parent body, Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ.
“Secondly, Sirawo increased the registration/ID Card levy from N3, 000 for three years to N3, 500 for one year. These are unacceptable, hence the indefinite suspension handed to him today.
“Sirawo, is not also a SEAN member. He dissociated himself from the the association in 1999 when he took leave of absence,” Comrade Ahmed Said in Abuja Monday.
The two parallel elections were conducted in violation of the Nigeria Union of Journalists order which directed that the planned elections should not take place pending when all issues relating to the conduct of the elections were handled.