Four state chapters of the Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN) in the South-West have dissociated themselves from the purported Oct. 7 elections scheduled to hold in Port Harcourt and Abuja.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that South-West SWAN’s action is in line with a directive by the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ).
In a joint statement signed by Chairmen of Lagos, Ogun, Oyo and Ekiti on Thursday, the states said the decision was reached after robust deliberations with their Executive Committees and chapter Members.
According to the Chairmen, their decision stems from the Sept. 24 directive by the leadership of the NUJ), which indefinitely suspended the upcoming national elections due to internal rancour amongst members over the electoral process.
“As professionals with total regard for constituted authorities and rule of law governing journalism, we will not be participating in any election not recognised by NUJ,” Lagos SWAN Chairman, Debo Oshundun said.
Hakeem Akintunde of Ogun said: “We have been directed by the leadership of NUJ to stay away from any elections, so we don’t have any intention of going to Abuja or Port Harcourt for either of the elections.”
For Niyi Alebiosu of Oyo State, the South West have nothing against individuals but against the electoral processes.
“For the sake of peace and future of our noble association, staying away from all electoral matters until issues are resolved is the best route to follow.”
The South West Chairmen therefore warned the Africa Zone of the Association of International Sports Press (AIPS) from interfering in the local affairs of SWAN which falls under the jurisdiction of NUJ.
“According to Article 7(a) of the SWAN Statutes which focuses on membership, without being a member of NUJ and not AIPS, full membership of SWAN is not possible based on Article 7 (h)(iii).
“We find it unacceptable and an act of double standard that the same National Leadership of SWAN which consulted the NUJ whenever it suited it is now claiming to be independent of the union when it is not favourably disposed to the directives of the NUJ.”