THE Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN), on Wednesday elected officers who will steer the ship of the association for the next three years.
All the new executives were returned unopposed during the delegates conference held at the NUJ Press Centre, Ilorin.
The new SWAN executive council is headed by Honour Sirawoo who succeeds Mallam Saidu Abubakar, who completed a two-term tenure of office.
Other elected officers are messrs Wale Alabi (Secretary General), Wale Joseph (Deputy Secretary General), Faruk Bello (Treasurer), Chigozie Chukwuleta (Financial Secretary), Adeboye Ajayi (Vice-President South-South), Ado Salisu (Vice-President N/West), Abubakar Sadiq (VP N/West), Damusa Mohammed (VP N/Central) and Edwin Bekom (VP S/South).
In his acceptance speech, the new SWAN President, Sirawoo, said the association is ready to partner professionals, administrators and other major stakeholders towards taking sports to greater heights in the country.
“In line with our objectives and commitment to the growth of sports, wealth creation and peace, we will partner sports professionals, administrators and lawyers to propose a private bill to be presented to the National Assembly for consideration and also visit President Muhammadu Buhari and the Minister of Sports, Barrister Solomon Dalung to share thoughts, lay our expertise and suggestions for the benefit of the country,” he said.
Sirawoo charged the Federal Government to come up with a strategic blueprint for the nation’s sports development in order to demonstrate its seriousness.
He also advocated a reappraisal of the Act establishing the National Institute for Sports (NIS), with a view to upgrading the centre to a degree awarding institution in the country.
He said that such development would equip coaches and other sports professionals seeking knowledge, which he said would in turn benefit sports development in the country and beyond.
Sirawoo stated said that, “to facilitate the process of reaping effectively from thee trillions in the sports world, we recommend the establishment of a sports university with campuses and facilities located in areas peculiar to particular sports.
“This institution just like the Petroleum Training Institute, Law, Medical and Journalism schools will refine the raw sports talents abound in our land for a guaranteed market besides putting our youths off various vices”.
?The SWAN president, who decried and banned activities of some members of the association seeking financial assistance from government or corporate bodies under various groups, said that, “All fora and groups within SWAN are hereby banned while every member and officials of the association seeking assistance or supprt from government, corporate bodies or individuals in the name of SWAN at all levels must henceforth seek clearance from the national secretariat”.
Other elected national officers of the association include, Mr. Wale Alabi, VP North West, Mr. Ado Salisu, VP South East, Mr. Cajetan Nkwopara, Financial Secretary, Mrs. Jibo Zakari, ?VP South West, Mr. Ajayi Adeboyen Treasurer, Mr. Abdulraheem Audu among others.