By AUSTIN OWOICHO, Abuja
The Chairman, National Advisory Council of the Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN), Barr Steve Alabi has applauded the role played by the Honour Sirawoo-led Executive Committee towards the re-election of Mr Mitchell Obi as President AIPS Africa at the just concluded Congress in Nairobi, Kenya.
Barr Alabi, accompanied by Alhaji Sani Zaria, Elder Olu Amadasun and Alhaji Saidu Abubakar, all members of the Council which consist of the association’s past presidents, stated this during a visit on the SWAN president, Mr Honour Sirawoo in his office at the National Stadium Complex, Abuja.
He said, “As part of our regular evaluation session with you, we are here to sincerely applaud steps taken to ensure victory for Nigeria. As past presidents, we are pleased with your efforts and commitment to ensuring that SWAN plays its promotional role not only in Nigeria’s sports development, but Africa.
“As a way of building on the success, you must ensure that states chapter leadership key into your vision, just as we expect members to rally round your administration to enable quick cover of lost grounds; we have a defined role and we we must unite to effect it,” he declared
Responding, the SWAN President, Honour Sirawoo described the re-election of Mitchell Obi as a soothing balm for Nigeria’s sports and a clear statement of SWAN’s leadership role in Africa’s sports journalism.
While thanking the leaders for acknowledging the role of his
administration, he said “you cannot contest any position in AIPS without being nominated by a national association; this we didn’t only do, but set up a high powered committee to source and mobilize support for our candidate. Indeed, Nigeria showed political clout in Kenya, by ensuring that our steps were in order as well as working for the emergence of candidates that would ease our reign.
“SWAN is indeed glad that with the support of other member countries, one of our own was re-elected; the victory is not just for us a people, but also for sports journalists across the continent, our responsibility is to support him to succeed in the task of taking AIPS in Africa to a greater height,” Sirawoo stressed.
The SWAN boss aligned with the President of AIPS, Gianni Merlo, who spoke at one of the sessions during the Congress, where he called on national associations to be credible and create avenues for funding in their bid to become independent.
According to Merlo, “It’s our credibility that we have to build. If we are press officers for ministers then we are not respecting the profession. Our national associations have to be organised. The society has changed and we have to change with it because sport is part of the society, it’s a culture and for that reason we have to invest in our culture.”