Alhaji Ibrahim Musa Gusau, President of the Nigeria Football Federation, delivered a strong message to the leadership of the Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN) on Thursday. He called for the unification of all existing factions within SWAN and emphasized the importance of working harmoniously with the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ).
Addressing the new executives of SWAN, led by President Mr. Isaiah Benjamin, at the NFF Secretariat, Gusau expressed the NFF’s readiness to actively engage sports journalists in its activities and events to strengthen relationships and foster understanding.
Gusau said, “I want to first and foremost congratulate you on your elections as the new leaders of SWAN. I am well aware of the power of the media, and football is undoubtedly a media event. There is a need for even greater cooperation and collaboration between the NFF and the media in all that we’re doing.”
He added, “The NFF will seek to involve SWAN even more in all that we are doing, which is why we included journalists in some of the committees we recently announced. However, I urge the new leadership of SWAN at the national level to work diligently to eliminate the factions that currently exist in the FCT and some other states and bring everyone under one umbrella. You should also commit to working closely with the Nigeria Union of Journalists.”
In response, SWAN President Isaiah Benjamin praised the NFF President for including journalists in NFF sub-committees and league governing boards. He requested greater inclusivity of SWAN members in NFF activities, events, and programs to ensure accurate and comprehensive reporting.
“I must express our appreciation for your inclusion of a number of our members in your committees, including the boards of the Leagues. It is a welcome development and I assure you that those members will perform optimally and professionally, as that is the only way we know how to work,” he said.
“I also want to request for more inclusiveness of our members in your activities, events and programmes. It is better for them to be part of the programmes and witness how they run than gathering them at the end of those programmes to inform them. At that point, they would not be in the best position to report those programmes and events correctly and appropriately,” he added.
The event was attended by various dignitaries, including Alhaji Sabo Babayaro, Chairman of the Normalization Committee for Kaduna State Football Association, and representatives from the NFF and SWAN, including Mr. Ademola Olajire, Ms. Ruth David, Mr. Chuks Alizor, Dr. Ayo Abdulrahaman, and SWAN Secretary-General Ikenna Okonkwo, along with former SWAN executives and prominent sports editors.