The National Association of Women in Sports (NAWIS) on Thursday urged the Federal Government to impress it on the Ministry of Youths and Sports to conduct a fresh and credible election into the board of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN).
The group made the call during a peaceful protest at the three-arm zone, near Eagles Square in Abuja.
Ms Hulda Nkwocha, who spoke on behalf of the protesters, said the process that enthroned the Alhaji Ibrahim Gusau as President of the association was not transparent.
She said Mrs Rosa Collins and other persons who entered into the race were shut out, adding that Collins’ subsequent appointment as a member of the board was unacceptable compensation.
“It is not Collins alone that has been cheated in AFN election but the entire women folk. We deserve equal right like our male counterparts,’’ she said.
Nkwocha said the re-election into the AFN board directed by the Appeals Committee fixed for July 20 never held.
The June 13 election that first saw the emergence of Gusua as president was cancelled.
Nkwocha, therefore, said the group was taken aback when the name of Gusau was announced for inauguration as president of the AFN board.
“We were waiting for a re-run election after our accreditation only to be told that Gusau had emerged as president, ostensibly without the casting of votes.
“We are appealing to the Acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, to ensure this display of gender exclusion does not suffice,’’ Nkwocha said.
Also, Collins said she was tactically prevented from contesting the presidential race of the federation.
“ The government should ensure all qualified members of the association, including women who wish to contest the position of the president, should be allowed.
“In this instance, the ministry has not allowed that to happen in AFN which is a bad precedence in modern democracy,’’ Colins said.
But the minister, Solomon Dalung, had said the cancellation of the June 13 election of the board, won by Gusau on the advice of the appeal committee, was misguided.
The minister said that the revalidation of the result from the initial election became paramount, adding that it was found to be credible and transparent.
Gusau is currently attending the World Athletics Championship in London.