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AFN needs a president with integrity, says Nesiama

Former Technical Director of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN), Navy Commodore Omatseye Nesiama, says the federation needs a leader, who has integrity to attract the right partnership networks in the interest of the nation’s athletics.

“The AFN needs someone who has verifiable management and administrative qualities, experiences/knowhow and not just money to throw around,” he said.

Nesiama told The Guardian yesterday that athletics in Nigeria could only move forward if the board elects someone who has good understanding of the sports and with the ability to reach within the local and international hierarchy of the sport.

The AFN had been ordered by World Athletics to hold its congress that will usher in new executive board before June 14.

Nesiama stated that theoretically and practically, he is qualified and has the professional experience to lead the AFN successfully.

He said: “We need a leader who is assertive, knowledgeable, innovative and effective organiser.

Someone, who has the ability to project the best possible image of Nigerian athletics. I have shown integrity and discipline over time in my dealings both in and outside the sporting circle. I have proven over time that I have the capacity to use my own networking ability and inter-personal skills to attract partnership and sponsorships.

I did it with Cross River and Delta State governments in support of AFN programmes between 2012 and 2015.”

Nesiama continued: “I was a member of team that negotiated apparel sponsorship deal with Nike that ran full length of contract course successfully with the AFN. I helped to carry out the spade works that led to the take–off of the High Performance Centre in Port Harcourt.”

In the build up to Rio 2016 Olympics in Brazil, Nesiama gave up his position as Technical Director to allow a coach make the Olympics-bound team. “I did that because I was considerate and compassionate. I felt the presence of the coach in the team was more important than mine.”

Among other positions, Nesiama, who has been a member, Confederation of African Athletics (CAA) Technical and Competitions Commission since 2014, as well as AFN Technical Director between 2012-2017, was former Director, Physical Training and Sports in the Nigerian Navy. He was competition Director for the First ever African Youth (U-18) Championship in 2013.

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