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Don’t amend SWAN statutes now, NUJ advises Sirawoo

The Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) has advised Honour Sirawoo, National Chairman of the Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN), against the planned illegal amendment of the association’s statutes.

The NUJ, in a letter on Thursday signed by its National Secretary, Shuaibu Leman, urged Sirawoo to avoid acts which may lead to unpleasant circumstances in the association.

In the letter titled “Re: Planned Illegal Amendment of SWAN Statutes, Elongation of Tenure”, the union said Sirawoo should urgently convene the association’s long overdue SWAN Full Council Meeting.

The NUJ added that such a Full Council Meeting should be the venue where an Election Committee would be inaugurated for the purposes of putting in place a new leadership.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the NUJ had since late 2018 been receiving various complaints about Sirawoo’s leadership and the SWAN National Executive Committee (NEC).

Of late, there had been various petitions alleging plans by Sirawoo to illegally amend SWAN Statutes and elongate his tenure without election.

Earlier this week, an aspirant to the association’s National Chairmanship position had sent a petition to NUJ.

A group within the association had also alleged that Sirawoo had planted many “draconian” clauses in the amended statutes, which were to be adopted in the middle of the night on Monday in Abuja.

The group said one of such clauses bars sports journalists working for international organisations from contesting for the post of National Chairman.

NAN reports that Sirawoo had, through an undated letter signed by Administrative Secretary Habila Ramako, convened a Special Statute Review Delegates Conference for Monday in Abuja.

The meeting is billed to start at 9 p.m. on Monday and end on Tuesday morning, since delegates are expected to depart by Tuesday noon.

The NUJ said the petitioners had complained that the statutes review process is “personal and illegal” on the basis of Article 25 of the association’s amended statutes.

NAN reports that the article confers the powers of statutes’ amendment on the association’s National Congress.

The union also drew Sirawoo’s attention to the fact that the three-year tenure of his NEC ends on July 13.

It advised that amending the association’s statutes with just a matter of days to the end of the NEC’s tenure is being seen as “full of ill motives”.

The NUJ then noted that it felt obliged to draw Sirawoo’s attention to such concerns and guide him in order “to avoid any unpleasant consequences of ignoring laid down guidelines as enshrined in SWAN Statutes”.(NAN)

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