Ahead of the planned election into the board of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria on Monday, one of the aspirants, Solomon Aliyu, spoke to PREMIUM TIMES on the way forward for track and field in the country.
Aliyu, a police officer and national hurdles coach, believes the AFN is in dire need of fresh hands and ideas, and not recycling the individuals who have at different times been culpable for the rot that has kept track and field in a near-comatose state in the past years.
“Yes, I am running for election into the next AFN Board as Technical Representative. We can’t really influence much of any positive change if we remain just onlookers,” Aliyu told PREMIUM TIMES Saturday.
Aliyu who has been part of the Nigerian contingent to a number of international events including the Olympics warned against recycling old hands and expecting something different from them.
“The AFN needs to move forward and to move forward, the federation needs people with fresh ideas – not recycling the same people that have put us in this unfortunate place we have found ourselves,” he said.
Though Aliyu admits he is not all-knowing, he believes with the maximum support of his fellow coaches who he seeks to represent in the new board, long-overdue changes can come to the AFN.
“I alone don’t have the answer to all the problems in the federation. But we all as coaches have the answer. So give me your blessing and your support let me be your voice to represent us in the next election. your support and constructive criticism is welcome anytime any day,” Aliyu said in a message to coaches in the Nigerian athletic community.
In-fighting in the AFN has led to two boards jostling for leadership, which resulted in the recent debacle of relay teams unable to attend the World Relays event that took place in Poland last month.
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