SWAN Full Council Suspends Bonny, Ijeoma, Azuka, Sacks 3 Appointees 

By Sani Yarima 

The Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN) held its Full Council Meeting in Kano State from May 1-3, 2024 at Global Luxury Hotel in Nasarawa GRA. 

At the meeting, the Full Council considered the activities of three elected NEC members and suspended them indefinitely. 

The indefinitely suspended NEC members are Bonny Nyong – Deputy President, Azuka Chiemeka – Vice president of South-South, and Ijeoma Peter-Nwante – Financial Secretary.

Additionally, the full council approved the relief of three others appointed to the leadership of the association of their duties; Frankie Omonkhua – VP of South-East, Olalekan Ige – Deputy Secretary-General, and Mansur Mohammed – VP of North-West.

The Full Council Meeting produced a 22-point resolution contained in a Communique. 

Guests in their various messages of goodwill commended SWAN under the leadership of President Isaiah Benjamin for its role in the development of sports in Nigeria and reiterated their readiness to continue to support and partner with the noble association.

The Full Council confirmed and regretted the abuse of power and rascality in the build-up to the July 2023 Triennial Delegate Congress in Omok which led to the arbitrary disqualification of some aspirants in that election by the Honour Sirawoo-led administration. 

The Council commended the affected persons for the maturity with which they managed the injustice.

The Full Council considered the purported wrongdoings leveled against President Isaiah Benjamin by some unregistered members of the National Executive Committee (NEC) after listening to his side of the accusations and absolved him of any form of culpability. 

The Council cleared the President of hateful, vengeful, gross abuse of privilege, and declared allegations against him of no consequences, null and void. 

Consequently, the Full Council unanimously passed a vote of confidence on Isaiah Benjamin as President of the Association and the entire NEC as presently constituted.

The Full Council agreed that the needless crisis orchestrated by some members of NEC had brought public embarrassment to the association, and dented its corporate image which has rubbed it with immense benefits. 

The Council commended the Nigeria Pillar of Sports, Chief Donatus Agu-Ejidike, for his continued support of SWAN activities and Sports development and affirmed that he is indeed Nigeria’s Pillar of Sports.

The Full Council also condemned the shady handling of ID card registration and implementation in the past and the non-remittance of percentages to states and called for better ways of handling both annual registration/renewal of membership. 

The Full Council relieved Dr. Honour Sirawoo of his position as Board of Trustees (BoT) chairman and approved the expansion of the size of BoT from three to seven while calling on members to determine their leadership.

The Full Council resolved that the tenure of the current SWAN statute is due for review and a committee be set up accordingly at the next Full Council. 

The Council resolved that it is a criminal offense for anybody or group outside the Isaiah Benjamin-led NEC to use SWAN for any personal or unofficial communication. 

The Full Council approved a positive review of SWAN’s relationship with NUJ and mandated the President/NEC to engage in further discussion that will smoothen the relationship as it used to be.

The Full Council wished Ogun State a successful hosting of the forthcoming National Sports Festival while calling on the Local Organising Committee to make adequate provisions for all participants including Sports Journalists. 

The Council resolved that former President Honour Sirawoo should return all the property of SWAN in his possession including the certificate of registration.

The Full Council urged the SWAN President to act swiftly on indiscipline and/or any act of factionalization at some state or National levels of the association. 

It frowned at illegal claims springing up in Gombe, Bayelsa, and Edo States and affirmed that Mr. Hakilu Mohammed Feli is the recognized Chairman in Gombe, Mr. Loveday Herbert as interim Chairman in Bayelsa while calling on Edo State to conclude registration and conduct an election that will usher in its substantive leadership.

The Full Council resolved the dissolution of all factions of SWAN in the Lagos State chapter and set up a harmonized caretaker committee to make way for a proper election. 

The Council commended the steps taken so far by the President in the FCT Chapter and urged him to ensure that sustains all efforts at bringing the chapter under one umbrella. 

Finally, the Full Council congratulated Finidi George on his appointment as Super Eagles coach and charged him to justify the confidence reposed on him while urging the Nigeria Football Federation to provide the enabling environment for him to succeed.

It is worth noting that 34 states of the federation including the FCT were in attendance.

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