By Chinedu Adonu
Governor of Rivers state, Barrister Nyesom Wike has urged the Sports Writers Association of Nigeria, SWAN, to brave up and fight against corruption in the sports sector in the country.
Gov Wike made this call while declaring open the 2019 SWAN triennial delegates Congress held at Rivers State House of Assembly Complex in Port Harcourt on Tuesday.
Wike who was represented by State Secretary to Government, SSG, Dr Tammy Danagogo, disclosed that SWAN would salvage sports development through constructive reportage of sports commissions’ activities in the country
Dr. Danagogo who was also the former Minister of Youths and Sports, lamented that corruption was preventing sports from making progress in the country.
“There is lot of corruption in sports ministry and it is controlled by cabals and some sports writers belong to such cabal.
“When I was Minister, Super Eagles failed to perform because their entitlement were not given to them. I know I signed about N1.4bn, besides what they got from FIFA, GLO and other endorsements. They said they will pay them but they didn’t. The players complained that it happened in 2010 and after the World Cup when they complained, they were told they won’t play again. Sports writers have to correct that,” he said.
He further said that another problem hindering sports development in the country is no structure preparation of finance.
“There is no structure preparation of funds in sports. What we do is fire brigade approach. I would thank Ngozi Okonjo Iweala because we were working on correcting that, but the change of government stopped it. What happens is that big money enter at the commencement of competitions and NFF callsll it bumper harvest,” he said.
AIPS Africa President, Mitchell Obi, in a goodwill message called on sports journalists in Nigeria to use the on-going Triennial Delegates Congress to forge a positive vigour that will bring about a meaning for the association.
Obi, who expressed satisfaction with the administration of SWAN President, Mr Honour Sirawoo, called for members support to achieve more.
The chairman of SWAN Electoral Committee, SWANECO, Mr Isaiah Benjamin, declared the positions of Deputy President, Vice President, North West and Deputy Secretary General vacant.
He said the vacant positions would be filled in due course as some of those who purchased the forms were not present, thereby contravening the Statutes of the Association.
At the end of congress, Honour Sirawoo, was re-elected to serve a second term by delegates from 30 states of the federation including Federal Capital Territory, FCT.
Delivering his acceptance speech, the re-elected SWAN President, Honour Sirawoo, expressed gratitude to the government and people of Rivers state for the enormous support they have given to the association over the years.
Sirawoo who also commended sports writers for supporting his administration’s efforts, promised that he would take the association to the promise land as the elected him back to pilot the affairs of SWAN.
He disclosed that one major reasons why the association was registered with the Cooperate Affairs Commission, CAC, was to ensure that it is known to law.
The exercise was graced by Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike who was ably represented by the Secretary to the Rivers State Government, Barr Tami Danagogo, Chief Adokiye Amiesimaka, Mr Mitchell Obi, former NUJ President, Wahid Odusule, former Table Tennis President Mr Chuka Momah and all past SWAN Presidents and Deputy presidents, VP zone C, Prince Petrus Obi, among others including delegates from Guild of Editors and NAWOJ.
The highlight of the congress was the swearing in of newly elected national executives of SWAN, which includes; Honour Sirawoo as President, Bonny Nyong, National Vice President , South South, Dan Musa Mohammed, North Central, Jiboh Zakari, North East, Chigozie Chukwuleta, South East, Jude Opara, Secretary General, Bello Farouk, Treasurer and Orji Sampson Nwaokike, Financial Secretary.