The National Executive Committee (NEC) of the Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN) has resolved to continue to remain a dependable partner with the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development.
In the communique of the SWAN NEC zoom meeting, the association also passed a vote of confidence on Sunday Dare, the Minister of Youth and Sports Development.
The meeting which was presided over by the SWAN National President, Comrade Ahmed Aigbona, and which had all NEC members in attendance, also resolved that the association would continue to collaborate with the Ministry in the interest of sports development.
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According to the communique, the SWAN NEC faulted the claim of one AIPS-affiliated SWAN which was founded in October 2019 in Port Harcourt and is being led by one Permanent Secretary in the Rivers State Ministry of Sports, Honour Sirawoo.
The SWAN NEC said its national body, which is an affiliate of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), was not party to the communique which claimed that the Sports Minister has no regard for sports writers.
“The claim by that factional group is not only untrue, unfair and misleading, but an attempt to blackmail the Minister.
“As a journalist of repute himself, the Minister has shown tremendous respect to the media as we are partners in progress in the development of sports in Nigeria.
“Since his appointment, the Minister has enjoyed a robust, cordial and sustained positive relationship with National SWAN, leading to the appointment of two of our esteemed colleagues from Lagos and Abuja as his media aides.
“The media also have unfettered access to the Minister’s media team who provide information and news updates on a regular basis, especially during the just-concluded National Sports Festival (NSF) in Benin,” the SWAN NEC said.
It added that the insinuation that the Minister has no regard for the media was unfounded and an attempt to soil the Minister’s relationship with his constituency.
National SWAN then pledged that it would continue to lend support to actualise the Minister’s vision in the best interest of youth and sports development in Nigeria.
“National SWAN holds the Minister in the highest esteem and we will do everything professionally possible to create a conducive environment for him to succeed,” it said.
SWAN NEC also disagreed that Edo 2020, which ended on April 21, was the worst National Sports Festival ever organised in the history of Nigeria.
It said this was more in the consideration of the attendance of participating states and the world-class facilities provided across the 11 centres used for the event.
“Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the event was a success.”
The communique was signed by the association’s Deputy President, Ado Salisu, who was the Communique Drafting Committee Chairman, as well as Uja Emmanuel and Mike Oboh who is the association’s Secretary-General.