By; JACOB ONJEWU DICKSON
The leadership Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has assured of its readiness to always partner the Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN) in its resolve to take the round-leather game to greater heights in the country.
A statement signed by the Secretary-General, SWAN, Ikenna Okonkwo, dated September 7, 2023, said that the NFF President, Alhaji Ibrahim Musa Gusau, who gave the assurance yesterday, while playing host to the leadership of National SWAN led by its President, Mr. Isaiah Benjamin in his office in Abuja, described sports writers as critical partners to sports, particularly football development.
Alhaji Gusau while congratulating the new SWAN leadership, commended its president for taking practical steps towards ensuring a healthy and improved relationship with Sports Writers since his emergence, few weeks ago.
He however, emphasised the need for SWAN to collaborate with relevant stakeholders, including the Nigeria Union of Journalists in carrying out its duties, adding, “SWAN must stand as one to achieve greater things. The leadership has a big task in bringing everyone together to work as one. Try and see how to further cement relationships with the sporting media and all stakeholders.
“I sincerely commend you for your efforts so far in relating with your colleagues and all persons within the sporting sector. You have started on a good note. I will continue to ensure that Sports Writers are carried along in all our activities, because it’s necessary to have cordial relationships… Invite me to your events, I will be there.”
The NFF Boss also used the opportunity to clarify that the nation’s football house under his watch has no intention of witch-hunting anyone, rather it is committed to entrenching solid grassroots football development initiatives through the various state Football Associations.
Earlier, the SWAN President, Mr. Benjamin hailed the NFF leadership for its focused leadership and for appointing its members in critical standing committees of the country’s football body.
He said, “Based on your track records in the football circle even before becoming NFF President, we have no doubt that you will deliver. It will be my joy that we work and achieve success together.
“By appointing persons with experience and proven track records to head the various football Leagues including the Nigeria Premier Football League (NPFL), Nigeria National League (NNL), Nigeria Nation-wide League (NLO) and Nigeria Women Football League (NWFL), it goes to show the commitment of the NFF to get things right.”
The SWAN President then enjoined Alhaji Gusau-led NFF leadership to support the National Executive Committee of SWAN to guarantee enhanced propagation of its activities at all times.
Aside NEC representation, SWAN former Secretary-General Mr. Richard Jideaka, former National Welfare Officer, Mr. Mike Ndidi, former FCT Vice Chairman, Mr. Lekan Sowande and sports veterans, Elder Asueliemen Osasuyi (Group Sports Editor Nigerian Pilot Newspapers), Alhaji Salifu Usman (Sports Editor Leadership Newspapers), Mr. Lekan Olaseinde (Sports Editor Blueprint Newspapers), among others as well as top NFF hierarchy were present during the visit.