|Ogba...craftily and foxily lures 'enemies'|
*Minister’s name dragged in to the politicking
*Succession plan organised as campaign strategy
As part of the desperate efforts to return as the President of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN), Mr. Solomon Ogba having failed with confusing the National Olympic Committee (NOC) and the National Sports Commission (NSC) in respect of the international federation members has devised a new means.
He succeeded half way and failed half way. He was able to lure into his fold 4x400m Sydney Olympic gold medallist Tafida Gadzama and Tunde Abdulkarim while he could not secure the duo of Dr. Gloria Chukwukere and former international, Falilat Ogunkoya.
The gist is, Ogba realized that two people are likely to contest with him on the seat for the Presidency of the federation. Professor Tunde Makanju who is regarded as ‘too straight to be bent’ and former athlete, TAfida Fidelis Gadzama. To recruit Gadzama, his team and his errand boy called Special Assistant, Enefiok Udo-Obong worked on Gadzama and delivered a juicy invitation to Doha, Qatar.
Gadzama fell for the bait. Elected member of the AFN from the South-East, Dr. Gloria Chukwukere was to be worked on by Maria Woophil, the AFN Secretary General. Chukwukere got an invitation to Doha a day after her election. She refused to fall for the bait.
Former Nigerian quarter miler, Falilat Ogunkoya (MON) got the same bait. She was so pressurized and practically begged but she stood her grounds, refused the offer and did not travel.
Former Accountant General of Kwara state, an ICAN fellow, “fell for the tout’s bait” said a former national team athlete in his angry demand to know from this reporter if he travelled to Doha. He asked, “what does this man want from a motor park tout”?
The former athlete added, “you know what, Ogba told him that he would emerge as first Vice President. And that he (Ogba) would do just one term and hand over to him (Abdulkarim) as President.”
In the bid to get Gadzama, said the former athlete, “sport minister’s name was variously dropped. Gadzama told some of my friends that he had a meeting with Ogba and the sports minister in the Transcorp where the minister diplomatically asked him to work for Ogba’s emergence.”
We called on the minister’s assistant, Julius Ogunro who angrily said, “I am sufficiently close to the minister to know he would not descend so low to that level. He abhors Transcorp as a principle.”
Later in the evening, the minister responded to an e-mail request on him. “It is absolutely untrue. I don't even know who this Gadzama is. You can ask him if he has ever met me. If they have any evidence let them produce it. I have worked hard to produce guidelines to ensure a level playing field in the elections. If no one would give me credit for this they should at least grant that I would not subvert my own hard work. But this is Nigeria. But I thank you for asking me, which is pleasantly surprising.”