THE Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) has waded into the crisis rocking the Sports Writers’ Association of Nigeria (SWAN) as it urges parties in the conflict to refrain from provocative utterances.

The Secretary-General of the NUJ, Mr Liman Shuiabu, told newsmen yesterday that unguarded utterances would escalate the crisis. He urged all those involved in the conflict to embrace peace.

“I believe it should be a family issue. We believe that the crisis can be sorted out without an external influence.

“NUJ has heard from the Southwest body and the North, but we are expecting the National body to come up with a statement on the issue.

“We have advised the National Chairman of SWAN, Mr Honour Sirawo, to, as a matter of urgency, call an emergency meeting to resolve the issue. “Other SWAN chapters will also have their meetings to deliberate on the matter to find a way to bring peace to SWAN,” he said.

The Lagos State Chapter of SWAN held a congress on Feb. 17 and passed a vote of no confidence on Sirawoo.

The Chairman of Lagos SWAN, Fred Edoreh, told NAN that the meeting was to enable members to express their views on an alleged embarrassment caused the body by Sirawoo.

Edoreh said that the refusal of Sirawoo to endorse nomination of Mitchel Obi to seek re-election as President of Association Internationale de la Presse Sportive (AIPS Africa) was unacceptable and embarrassing.

Edoreh said that it was wrong for the SWAN national chairman to write to the world body, declaring that Nigeria had no candidate for the post.

“The most annoying thing is that Sirawoo said that Mitchel Obi is not a journalist,” Edoreh said.

He described the statement as insult to SWAN, NUJ, Nigeria and the African Zone of AIPS.

“It became necessary for us to call the emergency congress to discuss and take a position on what action should be taken to respond to the damage brought to SWAN.

“By Sirawoo’s action, Nigeria is about to lose the leadership of the body of African Sports Journalists.

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