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Oyo SWAN Election: Members Pass Vote of No Confidence on National Secretary, Andrew Abah

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By Adeola Oladele, Ibadan

Members of Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN), Oyo state chapter has passed a vote of no confidence on the National Secretary of the association, Mr Andrew Abah, for his role in the postponed association’s election last week.

This was stated in a communique issued on Wednesday and backed by over 35 members in the state who signed to that effect.

The members accused Andrew Abah of degrading the exalted position of the association national secretary by doctoring the list of accredited members meant for the conduct of the election.

The statement reads: “Following the botched election of Oyo State branch of the Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN) on Friday October 9th, 2015, held at the Press Centre, Iyaganku, Ibadan, some members of the union reviewed the election and the ignoble roles played by some key actors and concluded as follows:
“Members of the Oyo State SWAN no longer have confidence in the National Secretary of the association, Mr Andrew Abah, following his role in the crisis that led to the postponement of the election. Mr Andrew Abah cannot represent the national SWAN in Oyo State again to either supervise or conduct any activity of the state chapter.
“Right from landing in the state, Mr Andrew Abah had shown his compromise by holding a meeting with the chairman of the association in the state, Mr. Ajayi-Obe and a few other members of the executive, who like Ajayi Obe are contesting in the election. The electoral list was badly altered and only friends and cronies of Ajayi Obe were in the list.
“The reason given is that only those who have submitted their membership forms were considered. But after reviewing the list, it was discovered that there are many strange names of people who have never written a line of sport story while well known sports writers were omitted. It was also discovered that more than half of the names in list have no medium.
“On the day of election, Friday, October 9th, when the election was supposed to commence by 10am, Mr Andrew Abah only arrived at the venue of the event at 2.30pm.
“The electorate, including the members of the electoral committee only had access to the electoral list a few minutes to the commencement of the election. At the point, more than 50 members who were at the venue realised they had been disenfranchised.
“When some members protested against this, the chairman, Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) Oyo State Council, Comrade Gbenga Opadotun, acting on the order of the national President of NUJ, Comrade Waheed Odusile, mediated which culminated in the postponement of the election till October 30th, 2015. Mr Andrew Abah and the South West zonal vice President, Mumini held a meeting with the representatives of the two candidates contesting for the chairmanship position where it was agreed that everybody would abide by the resolution of the meeting.
“It is however a surprise that Andrew Abah issued a release which he dated October 9 even when it was obvious that the letter was issued on October 12. The released contradicted the earlier resolution arrived at on October 9. He also said in the release the election was postponed indefinitely and that those who were disqualified remain disqualified. We want to point it out that nobody was disqualified, he doctored the list to reflect his intention of taking side.
“Abah also said in the release that only 35 persons will now vote, while saying also that the disbanded electoral committee remains intact.
“It is important to state here that at the meeting presided over by the NUJ chairman after the botched election due to his absence at the venue and the hide and seek game he played in Ibadan, the electoral committee was disbanded by the chairman while a three-man-committee was named.
“He only arrived just as the meeting came to a close and the NUJ chairman intimated him of the development at another meeting he held with him, where representatives of the two main contestants were in attendance.
“Abah’s action has angered SWAN members in Oyo State and the chapter here states that it no longer has confidence in him as a national officer.
“With the vote of no confidence passed on him by SWAN members in the state, we will appreciate it if our decision is respected in order to restore peace in our association,” the statement said.

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