By Jude Okpara (SWAN)
The National body of the Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN) said its attention has been drawn to the latest statement credited to the President of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Chris Isiguzo.
A release made available by SWAN National Secretariat and signed by its General Secretary, Jude Okpara, on Thursday, reads:
The attention of the National Secretariat of Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN) has been drawn to a rash of comments credited to the embattled President of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Chris Isiguzo.
Wherein Isiguzo tried desperately, albeit unsuccessfully, to throw stones at the performing, visionary, reliable and hardworking SWAN President, Sir Honour Sirawoo, who had at weekend admonished the NUJ president to follow the path of honour and credibility in all his dealings.
Initially, we wanted to ignore him but we are circumspect enough to sufficiently inform discerning members of the public and journalists across Nigeria in particular, so as not to be hoodwinked by a man deliberately spreading falsehood.
While we may not want to dwell into how Isiguzo emerged as the NUJ president we want to state that he clearly lacks any knowledge of how SWAN operates. Even when SWAN was affiliated to the NUJ, I am not sure he had taken time to study the Statute of SWAN because if he did he would have known that contrary to his mischievous claims, Sir Honour Sirawoo in spite of his recent appointment as the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Sports in Rivers State remains the President of SWAN.
So, it is rather hilarious that Isiguzo in another failed bid to deceive members of the general public has again overreached himself needlessly by attempting to drag to the muds an accomplished sports promoter, and arguably one of the best ever SWAN presidents, Sir Honour Sirawoo.
Isiguzo claims he is not aware that Sirawoo is the president of SWAN, yet the same man after a failed visit to Port Harcourt, has continued to send emissaries to beg the number one sports writer in Nigeria to support his second term bid.
While shopping for what to use in staining the sterling records of the SWAN president, he claimed that Sir Sirawoo was not a sports journalist and since Rivers State Government has appointed him a permanent secretary, he could no longer lead the association.
For starters, until his appointment as Permanent Secretary in the Civil Service of Rivers State and subsequent deployment to the Ministry of Sports, Sir Sirawoo had been Director of Sports at the Rivers State Television (RSTV) and Director in charge of sports at the Rivers State Broadcasting Corporation (RSBC), under the same Civil Service of Rivers State.
Even more important, Article 23(G) of SWAN Statute states that: “where a National or State Officer is promoted out of sports department, the officer shall complete his term but shall not have the right to seek re-election.”
Sir Honour Sirawoo is eminently qualified to be SWAN president in line with Statute of SWAN as amended.
It is also regrettable that the outgoing NUJ president does not know that every registered organization is usually done under the incorporated trustees of such organization.
Therefore, our advice to Isiguzo is to face his battle in the NUJ and forget his war of attrition against SWAN because he will fail again as he did in 2019 when he wanted to destroy the association with some impostors.