What seems like another round of crisis may have hit the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN), as former African triple jump record holder Rosa Collins tackles Ibrahim Gusau over his alleged amendment of the 2017 constitution. She stated yesterday that the 2017 constitution of the federation remains the working document guiding the activities of its officials and stakeholders.
Collins, a board member of the AFN stated yesterday that the clarification becomes necessary following reports that the constitution was amended at the AFN Congress in Awka, Anambra State last December.
In a statement made available to The Guardian yesterday, Collins said: “Engr Ibrahim Gusau wrote in a letter dated August 7, 2020 and addressed to chairmen of state associations that the AFN constitution was amended in Awka and that it is that amended constitution that is now the working document of the federation. This is far from the truth.”
The 1995 African Games triple jump champion further said: “To start with, there was no AFN Congress in Awka. The AFN constitution (2017) is clear on how a Congress can be convened, and the charade in Awka did not comply with article 6.1.4 of the federation’s constitution, which stipulates a 60-day notice must be given before a congress can be convened.
“And article 6.1.5 of the same constitution goes further to state all the documents related to the congress shall be sent to the Secretariat of each member association at least thirty days prior to the congress,” Collins stated.
The four-time Nigeria triple jump queen further revealed that the notice for the congress was issued on November 5, 2019, just 29 days to the date of the purported congress in Akwa.
“Let us, for the sake of argument even assume the Congress was legally convened, was the procedure for amending the constitution followed? The answer is simple: it was not. Articles 10.1.2 and 10.1.3 of the AFN constitution (2017) state the procedure to follow if the constitution is to be amended.
“For the avoidance of doubt, article 10.1.2 states that the proposal to amend the constitution must be sent to the AFN Secretary General at least six months to the date of the Congress, where the amendment has been scheduled to take place.”
Collins continues: “And article 10.1.3 says all proposals as well as recommendations of the AFN board related to such proposals shall be sent to member state association by the Secretary General at least three months prior to the congress. The question to ask Gusau is: was there a proposal to amend the constitution? If he says there is, then he should show proof that it was sent by the AFN Secretary General to member state associations on or before September 4, 2019, that is not later than three months to the date of the Congress where the amendment has been scheduled to hold.”
She stated that Gusau was circumventing the constitution to achieve his personal goals.
“Perhaps, Engr Gusau has forgotten that the AFN is governed by its constitution and no one, not even its President and/or the Secretary General can, at their whims and caprices effect any change without following laid down procedure in the constitution.”
“From records at the Secretariat of the AFN in Abuja, communication between the AFN and member state associations has always been by email,” Collins said.
Efforts to speak with Gusau yesterday were unsuccessful.