Gusau re-elected as President in Kebbi
…Adeleye, Anibeze emerge VPs Okowa wins polls in Abuja
…Tafida Gadzama, Rosa Collins emerge VPs
With barely one month to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games taking place next month, the crisis in Athletics Federation of Nigeria deepened hugely on Monday as two parallel elections took place by two factions in Abuja and Kebbi respectively.
In the past months, the crisis in the federation has been lingering and it was anticipated that the fresh would put an end to it all.
That did not happen as 22 delegates elected Alhaji Ibrahim Gusau in Kebbi while 44 delegates elected Chairman of the Delta State Athletics Association, Tonobok Okowa as President of the body.
In Kebbi, Gusau polled 20 votes while Uche Muoma got just two votes from the 22 delegates present at the venue.
For the 1st Vice President, North West Zonal Representative, Sunday Adeleye got 15 votes, to emerge winner ahead of Solomon Abari who had four votes and Patrick Estate with three votes.
For the 2nd Vice President role, Nneka Anibeze polled 13 votes ahead of Esther Hindi Mallim with 8 votes.
Patrick Estate (South East), Dr Paul I Wakama (South South), Solomon Abari (North East) and Vitalis Lashimi North Central all emerged from their zones as representatives.
Other members of the board include Olu Sule who is a representative of the Technical Officials and Coaches alongside Moses Suleiman who emerged as Athletes Representative.
In Abuja, Okowa who was the sole candidate for the position of President polled 41 votes (three voided) and was duly returned as president of the AFN by the chairman of the AFN Electoral Commission, Mr Elias Gora, former General Secretary of the Nigeria Olympics Committee and former World Athletics lecturer and course director.
In his acceptance speech, the new AFN president says he will work assiduously to bring peace within the athletics family so that ”we all can keep the family as a unit to take the sport of track and field to greater heights.
“I want to assure all athletes and technical officials that their welfare will be top on my list and that of the entire board of the AFN.”
Sydney 2000 Olympics 4x400m gold medalist, Tafida Gadzama, was elected the first vice president.
He polled a total of 43 votes and in his acceptance speech promised all athletes and technical officials a new dawn.
Another former Nigerian international Rosa Collins was elected the second vice chairman.
Collins, the 1995 African Games triple jump champion, polled 42 votes.
Also in his acceptance speech in Kebbi, Engr Gusau thanked the delegates for their support in making his first term a success while counting on their continued support for the next four years.
“This is really humbling. I would like to thank all the delegates for finding time to come to Kebbi in the face of intimidation.
“We call on everybody to join hands with us to build athletics because the 14 of us cannot do it alone.
He revealed that, “Very soon, we will be constituting Commissions to oversee the daily affairs of the federation while we have time to face other serious matters.”
The Honorable Minister, Sunday Dare, will on Tuesday, today inaugurate the new AFN board members led by Chief Tony Tonobok Okowa by 10am at VIP of the National Stadium, Abuja
In the days ahead, World Athletics is expected to make a pronouncement and this will validate one of the two elections held in Abuja and Kebbi