Athletics: Why We Disown Gusau Recognise OKowa As AFN President – WA
By Our Reporter
THE World Athletics has confirmed Tonobok Okowa as the officially recognised President of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria.
WA in an email said the Abuja election which produced Tonobok OKowa as president was recognised because it was attended by the most voting members and the Nigeria Olympic Committee (NOC).
“World Athletics has received information from both elections and based on the information provided, we are now working with the board elected in Abuja.
“The meeting in Abuja was attended by the most voting members plus the National Olympic Committee, and is the board with whom the National Olympic Committee dealt with for the purposes of entering its team to the Olympic Games,” WA Head of Communications, Nicole Jeffery, said in a statement sent to The PUNCH.
World Athletics’ declaration puts an end to the leadership crisis that has rocked the AFN since 2019, which led to parallel elections in Abuja and Kebbi on June 14, which produced Okowa and incumbent Gusau as presidents.
Our correspondent further learnt that before the official recognition of Okowa as AFN president by WA, the global athletics body had sent the password for the official email of the federation and correspondence between both bodies to his camp. The Gusau-led group was previously in custody of the password.
WA told our correspondent on June 30 that it revoked the initial access of the email granted to Gusau as standard procedure after the election.
“It is World Athletics’ standard practice to revoke all access at the time of a Member Federation election until the new office-bearers are confirmed. In the case of Nigeria, we are still verifying the information we have received about the two elections,” WA said in the email.
With this, WA will be dealing directly with OKowa-led board while Gusau-led AFN waits for the next election in 2025.