Honour Sirawoo, President of a faction of the Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN), on Monday called for free and credible elections in the forthcoming national sports federations’ elections.
Sirawoo said in Abuja that credible elections into the sports federations were crucial to repositioning sports in the country.
Supreme reports that the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development had directed all national sports federations to conduct elections into their various boards on Sept. 30
Sirawoo, while commending the move, however stressed the need for all rules and guidelines to be followed to the letter to avoid rancour and factions.
He reiterated the need for the federations to conduct the elections in line with international best practices for the best administrators to emerge for sports development in the country.
“We should be disposed to anything that would grow sports, and we insist that all the processes must follow the rules and guidelines,” Sirawoo whose faction is affiliated to the International Sports Press Association (AIPS) said.
He commended the Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare, for his recent efforts at repositioning sports while calling on other stakeholders to support him.
Sirawoo stressed the need for more focus on grassroots sports development while highlighting the need for more competitions such as the National Youth Games (NYG) and school sports.
“I think we need more competitions like the NYG to catch them young.
“I will like to use this opportunity to commend the Sports Minister for recent results such as those we got from our outing at the World Athletics Under-20 Championships in Kenya.
“We are beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel and if we genuinely consolidate on our youth programmes, I am convinced we will see more positive changes in the years to come,” he added
Sirawoo who is a Permanent Secretary in the Rivers Ministry of Sports described sports as a veritable tool that can be used to fast track the social economic development of the country.
“Sports has become a very big industry, it is no longer recreation, it’s a money-spinning venture that we can leverage on to fast track the socio-economic development of the country,” he said.
Sirawoo added that SWAN was committed to continuing to set the agenda while ensuring robust coverage and constructive criticism of sports policies for the greater good of the nation.
He said SWAN as a critical stakeholder would continue to work with all relevant authorities to take Nigerian sports to the next level.