Niyi Alebiosu, the Oyo State Chairman of Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN), says he remains the chapter’s chairman in spite of the alleged election of a parallel executive body.
Alebiosu spoke on Thursday when he addressed newsmen at the end of the chapter’s congress at the Oyo SWAN secretariat in Ibadan.
He described the purported election allegedly organised by a group at the state secretariat of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) as “illegal and a fraud that cannot stand’’.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that Honour Sirawoo, the National President of the association, had earlier said the Alebiosu-led executive committee stood dissolved.
Sirawoo’s stance came after he fell out of favour with many chapters of the association across the country, following series of actions which called to question his leadership of SWAN.
The South-West zone of the association had, in a communiqué, accused Sirawoo of gross abuse of office for arbitrarily dissolving the Alebiosu-led executive committee without recourse to constitutional provisions.
Sirawoo had gone on to constitute a caretaker committee for the state as against the provisions of the association’s statutes which vested such power in the congress of the association.
Alebiosu described the purported election by a faction of the association as “a kangaroo’’ exercise, allegedly aimed at creating crisis in the state chapter.
“The congress we have is the authentic body and that is why we have been able to meet. If you look at the number of members here now and think of those who can be with the other faction over there, then you will be able to judge.
“Here we have members from NAN, BCOS, NTA Ibadan, Inspiration FM, Daily Trust, Thisday, AIT, 32 FM, Tribune and lots of others.”
Alebiosu said majority of his members, representing recognised media organisations, were in full support of his leadership.
The Oyo SWAN Chairman described any congress held outside the chapter’s secretariat as illegal.
He pointed out that SWAN statutes provided that `for anyone to become a full member of the association, the person should show active reportage of sports for one year’.
“This is not the case with the other group claiming to be Oyo SWAN leaders. But it is pathetic that it is being said that they have Sirawoo’s backing.’’
Alebiosu then urged members of the public and other sports stakeholders to be wary of transacting any business with the factional leadership.
NAN reports that the congress, which was attended by no fewer than 30 members of the chapter, re-affirmed its support for the Alebiosu-led executive committee in the state.