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The leadership crisis rocking the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) is taking a new twist as the two factions are engaged in a war of words over preparations for international competitions.
Engr Ibrahim Shehu Gusau-led AFN backed by the World Athletics (WA) and Confederation of Africa Athletics(CAA) last week announced a national athletics trials in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, for the selection of athletes that will represent the country at the forthcoming CAA Senior Athletics Championships in Algeria, World Athletics U-20 Championships in Nairobi, Kenya, World Relays in Poland and the Africa Region ll event in Kaduna respectively.
But the Olamide Geroge-led faction backed by the Ministry of Youth and Sports Development, in a statement by its secretary general, Prince Adisa Beyioku, asked athletics stakeholders to disregard the calls for national trials by Gusau-led AFN.
However, the director general of Gusau-led AFN, SY Pepple. Insisted that they are the only body recognised by the WA and CAA as pronounced by the competent court of law in Nigeria.
“The Gusau-led administration is also recognised by the High Court and Appeal Court judgements which have proclaimed him as the substantive President of the AFN.
“I believe that Mr Beyioku’s statement that the FMYSD does not recognise Gusau’s presidency of the AFN, is his personal opinion, as the judgement of the High Court and Appeal Court, which declared Gusau as the President of the AFN, cannot be supplanted with the opinion of Mr Beyioku,” Pepple stated.