We’ll Reposition Athletics In Nigeria – Olamide George

Acting President of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria, Hon. Olamide George, says members of the federation are determined to work hard and ensure the nation is restored to its place in the world of athletics

Acting President, Athletics Federation of Nigeria, Hon. Olamide George / Photo credit: George
Acting President, Athletics Federation of Nigeria, Hon. Olamide George / Photo credit: George

The newly appointed Acting President of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria, Hon. Olamide George, says the Federation will make athletics attractive again:

Athletics is no longer the way it used to be in Nigeria. What is wrong?

I thank God for sparing our lives and allowing the whole world to see what has transpired in almost two years since the AFN board was inaugurated.

We are not where we planned to be, but we are grateful to God for the journey so far.

Athletics in Nigeria is something we thought would have flourished better than it has at the moment.

Nevertheless, there is still room for improvement and with our unity of purpose to drive the athletes and the federation, we will begin to get better results.

Since the inauguration of the AFN board almost two years ago, there have been problems among the members. What are your plans to move the federation forward?

After the election there were a few issues, which is a normal thing. There is never a perfect election in the world.

But the most important thing is for us to shift ground, especially in the interest of the federation which is bigger than everybody.

The outgoing minister did what was necessary before leaving. The point is, as a leader, he observed a lacuna, a crisis within the federation, and he called for a meeting to bring us together. We all have learnt our lessons.

By Wednesday June 5, the board members are going to meet and chart a way forward. Already the president has been served a letter to step aside for now, he has received and acknowledged it

With the step-aside order on the president of the AFN, Ibrahim Gusau, how soon are we going to have a new leader?

We cannot operate in a vacuum. At the moment, the vice-president occupies the position as the acting president of the federation for now.

By Wednesday June 5, the board members are going to meet and chart a way forward. Already the president has been served a letter to step aside for now, he has received and acknowledged it.

We are going to inaugurate a committee to investigate all the accusations and the report of the committee will be used in moving the federation forward.

The performance at the last IAAF world relay in Yokohama, Japan, was the worst for the country what is the board doing to restore the country’s pride in athletics?

I was not part of the selection for the world relay; it was an open secret what happened to me on the board.

But I am happy that God already restored me to my position as the vice president of the federation.

We had our hiccups, but hopefully we are going to have a board meeting, itemise our challenges and look for a way forward. What happened in Yokohama won’t repeat itself.

Akure meet was one of the biggest in the past, what really went wrong?

If anyone is using the meet to spite me, then such person is wasting his time. If you look at the Akure meet, it has been one of the best in the country.

I can mention few athletes who have recorded good results at the meet. Ese Brume did a very good jump in Akure, Divine Oduduru also ran good times there, likewise so many other athletes.

We always have very good weather in Akure. The point is, the athletes are always happy coming to Akure for the meet.

I want to assure Nigerian athletes that we are ready to host again and the meet will return soon.

I can say it categorically that if as a board, we fine tune our calendar and Akure is listed as one of the venues for any meet, we will always give them the best.

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