The President of Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN), Sir Honour Sirawoo, has inaugurated a caretaker Committee for its Lagos state chapter with a charge to conduct election within three months.
A press statement from the Secretary General of association Jude Opara revealed that the inauguration of a Caretaker Committee followed the vacuum in the leadership of the chapter since 2019 as a result of the failure of the then chairman, Debo Oshundun, to revalidate his membership after 2018 and refusal to act on appeals, and directives of the Association’s National Executive Committee (NEC).
The failure to revalidate membership in 2018, 2019 and 2020, he stressed, automatically implies that Debo Oshundun ceased to be a member of the Association and is thus Statutes-barred from holding any position.
Sirawoo, represented by the Vice Presidents of South South, Bonny Nyong, and South West, Seun Ajayi-Obe, stressed further that the constitution of caretaker followed the due process as enshrined in the Association’s Statutes.
Article 22 (h) of the Statute speaks of power to constitute Caretaker Committee being given to the NEC, should the leadership of any state chapter detach itself from the national body.
The SWAN Statutes also stipulates that an individual shall lose membership, following failure to renew it through a yearly registration, after the first 90 days in each year.
Sirawoo who supervised Oshundun’s election in 2017 stated that SWAN in Lagos had always been progressive minded and one of the best in the country, but was quick to add that such standard was lowered by the last exco.
“Lagos Chapter has produced great leaders for SWAN besides being the cradle of Sports Journalism; as a President, I saw Lagos as a flagship, the center set the pace; today nobody is talking about the Lagos SWAN estate, the Co-operative Welfare Structure is gone.
“The administrative secretary that has served the Chapter for years before 2018 was asked to go home without salary for several months, the Lagos SWAN Secretariat that used to be a beehive of activities is now a shadow of itself; no responsible leadership can fold its arms to such failure,” he stated.
He then charged the newly sworn-in leaders to work hard and ensure that proper template is set for Lagos SWAN to reclaim its glory as a strong and vibrant state chapter.
The SWAN President, who commended the Lagos State governor for donating a Hiace Air-conditioned Bus to the chapter, thanked operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS) and Nigeria Police for their presence at the instance of the Association.
He urged the Caretaker Committee members headed by Aaron Akerejola of Arise TV, with a statutory mandate to administer the association for a period of three months and organise election that would usher in new executive to identify and retrieve the association property for use by the chapter.
In his acceptance speech, the Chairman, Aaron Akerejola, assured that the committee will meet with critical stakeholders with the view of coming up with ways of restoring the lost glory of Lagos SWAN.
He noted that the Lagos State chapter of SWAN is not and can’t be independent of the National Secretariat of SWAN and commended the National President, Sir Honour Sirawoo, for giving the association a corporate image.
The inauguration, witnessed by a large number of card carrying members of SWAN in Lagos, took place at the association’s secretariat, inside the National Stadium, Surulere.