Key Takeaways From 2024 SWAN Full Council, Integrated Sports Development Activated Under Isaiah Benjamin


Places indefinite suspension on Bonny Nyong,  Azuka Chiemeka,   Ijeoma Peter-Nwante

*Commends Kano Govt, tasks Sports Minister on collaborations 


The Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN) on Thursday May 2, held it's Full Council Meeting, tagged, "Kano 2024" under the amiable leadership of a seasoned sports writer, Isaiah Kemje Benjamin.

The gathering attracted key stakeholders of sports development in the country, bringing together, sports writers and administrators.

It was a gathering that shows that with committed leadership, Nigeria can get it right in the sports sector.

Ahead of the May 2 Full Council, National Executive of SWAN held an important meeting which lasted through the night, ending in the early hours of Thursday morning.

It was indeed a brainstorming session, aimed at looking at the best ways that sports can be aggressively developed at the grassroots, with deliberate positive reportage from SWAN members.

That marathon National Executive Committee (NEC) of SWAN set the tone for the business of the day at the full council.

On arrival in Kano days earlier, SWAN President, Isaiah Kemje Benjamin, led some NEC members on strategic courtesy visits to several sports administrators, notable among whom were, former NFA Chairman, Alhaji Ibrahim Galadima, whose wealth of experience was poured out in form of advice.

Other visits, include, the Honourable Commissioner of Information of Kano State,   Baba Halilu Dantiye, a veteran journalist, who spared no words in advising his visitors on how to ensure the noble journalism and sports writing profession is taken to greater heights.

Dantiye, a former SWAN executive in Bauchi State, as well as ex  President of the influential Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE), promised to attend the Full Council, one he also fulfilled.

At the Full Council, held at the prestigious Global Suites, 34 states of the Federation were represented by SWAN Chairmen or secretaries from states or both, where decisions were taken after deliberating for hours, from where a communique that captured the resolutions were taken.

At the colourful opening ceremony of the Full Council, SWAN rolled out honours to several who distinguished themselves in sports development across the country.

They are, Alhaji Ibrahim Gusau  (SWAN Football Development Icon Award), Alhaji (Dr.) Ibrahim Galadima  (SWAN Excellence Award), Senator John Owan Enoh  (SWAN Sports Outstanding Leadership Award), Hon. Abubakar Ekene Adams  (SWAN Sports Grassroots Development Award), 

Alhaji Dr. ISiyaku Umar Tofa  (SWAN Sports Philanthropy Award),  Alhaji Halilu Dantiyye MNI (SWAN Sports Legendary Award) and  Mr Moses Adisu  (SWAN Sports Development Award).

Also recognized, were, Rabiu Ali  (SWAN Sports Legendary Award), 

The Chairman, Nigeria Nationwide League One (SWAN Most Improved League),  Alhaji Dr. Rabiu Inuwa  (SWAN National Merit Award)

Senator Barau Jibrin  (SWAN Excellence People's Representation Award),   Senator Kawu Sumaila  (SWAN Distinguished Service Award),  Kano State Governor, Alhaji Kabir Yusuf  (Nigeria Sports ICON) and  Mal. İbrahim Shekarau CON, PEN. SARDUNAN KANO, (Award of Excellence for Sports Development).

The well attended opening ceremony was also graced by several dignitaries and key stakeholders.

Notable among those at the opening, were, Minister of Sports Development, Senator John Enoh represented by acting Zonal Coordinator North West, Mohammed Danmallam.

Others are ex SWAN President, Alhaji Saidu Abubakar, ex SWAN Deputy President, Alhaji Abubakar Sadiq Moyoyo, ex SWAN Secretary Generals, Olawale Lawanson Alabi and Jude Opara, ex NFA Chairman, Alhaji Ibrahim Galadima and Alhaji Dr. ISiyaku Umar Tofa, among others.

According to the communique issued after the Full Council,  which was jointly signed by Chimezie Anaso  (Chairman), 

Segun Giwa  (Secretary), 

Chinwe Nnadozie ( Member), 

Mustapha Musa  (Member) and endorsed by  Secretary  General, SWAN, Ikenna Okonkwo, punishment was handed out to some erstwhile members, who of recent, dragged the name of the association to disrepute through insurbordination and other unwholesome activities, including illegally holding a NEC meeting.

In spite pleas from the SWAN president, Full Council insisted such erring members deserved punishment ranging from suspension to relieving some from positions in the NEC.

Those axed by the Full Council include, Bonny Nyong  (Deputy President),  Azuka Chiemeka (Vice-president South-South) and  Ijeoma Peter-Nwante (Financial Secretary).

Also, the following appointees by the President/NEC of the association were  relieved of their various positions.

They are,  Frankie Omonkhua   (VP, South-East),  Olalekan Ige  (Deputy Secretary-General) and  Mansur Mohammed (VP North-West).

The Full Council among several other decisions, resolved to look into an earlier decision taken in 2019, that led to a strained relationship between SWAN and the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ). 

Hence, the "divorce"  that was adopted in 2019 has been reviewed by the 2024 Full Council. SWAN resolved to maintain a cordial relationship with NUJ, since most of its members are practicing journalists, registered with NUJ.

For a glimpse of the other resolutions, read the full communique below;


After opening ceremony and deliberations, the following formed part of the Resolutions at the Full Council Meeting...

1) Guests in their various messages of goodwill commended SWAN under the leadership of President Isaiah Benjamin for its role  in the development of sports in Nigeria and reiterated their readiness to continue to support and partner with the noble association.

2) Full Council confirmed and regretted the abuse of power and rascality in the build up to July 2023 Triennial Delegate Congress in Omok which led to the arbitrary disqualification of some aspirants in that election by the Honour Sirawo-led administration and commended the affected persons for the maturity with which they managed the injustice.

3. Full Council considered the purported wrongdoings leveled against President Isaiah Benjamin by some unregistered members of National Executive Committee (NEC) after listening to his side of the accusations and absolved him of any form of culpability. 

4) Full council cleared the President of hateful, vengeful, gross abuse of privilege and declared allegations against him of no consequences, null and void.

5. Afterwards, Full Council unanimously passed a vote of confidence on Isaiah Benjamin as President of the Association and the entire NEC as presently constituted.

6) Full council agreed that the needless crisis orchestrated by some members of NEC had brought public embarrassment to the association, dented its corporate image which has rubbed it of immense benefits. 

7) Full Council having considered the activities of three elected NEC members, suspended them indefinitely, just as it also approves the relieve of three others appointed into the leadership of the association of their duties.

The indefinitely suspended NEC members are;

- Bonny Nyong - Deputy President 

- Azuka Chiemeka - Vice-president South-South

- Ijeoma Peter-Nwante Financial Secretary, 

Also, the following appointees by the President/NEC of the association were also relieved of their various positions...

- Frankie Omonkhua  - VP, South-East VP

- Olalekan Ige - Deputy Secretary-General

- Mansur Mohammed - VP North-West

8)  Full Council commended the Nigeria Pillar of Sports, Chief Donatus Agu-Ejidike, for his continued support to SWAN activities and Sports development and affirmed that he is indeed Nigeria's Pillar of Sports.

9) Full Council also condemned the shady handling of ID card registration and implementation in the past and non-remittance of percentages to states and called for better ways of handling both annual registration/renewal of membership.  

10. Full Council relieved Dr. Honour Sirawoo of his position as Board of Trustees (BoT) chairman, approved the expansion of the size of BoT from three to seven, while calling on members to determine their leadership.

11. Full Council resolved that the tenure of the current SWAN statute is due for review and a committee be set up accordingly at next Full Council.

12. Full Council resolved that it is a criminal offense for anybody or group outside the Isaiah Benjamin-led NEC to use SWAN for any personal or unofficial Communication.

13. Full Council approved a positive review of SWAN relationship with NUJ and mandated the President/NEC to engage in further discussion that will smothen relationship as it used to be

14. Full Council wished Ogun State successful hosting of the forthcoming National Sports Festival, while calling on the Local Organising Committee to make adequate provisions for all participants including Sports Journalists.

15. Full Council resolved that former President Honour Sirawoo should return all the property of SWAN in his possession including the certificate of registration. 

16. Full Council urged the SWAN President to act swiftly on indiscipline and/or any act of factionalisation at the some state or National level of the association.

17. Full council frowned at illegal claims springing up in Gombe, Bayelsa and Edo States and affirmed that Mr Hakilu Mohammed Feli is the recognised Chairman in Gombe, Mr. Loveday Herbert as interim Chairman in Bayelsa, while calling on Edo State to conclude registration and conduct election that will usher in its substantive leadership.

18. Full Council resolved the dissolution of all factions of SWAN in Lagos State chapter and set-up of a harmonised caretaker committee to make way for a proper election. Just as it commended the steps taken so far by the President in the FCT Chapter and urged him to ensure him to sustain all efforts at bringing the chapter under one umbrella.

19.  Full Council congratulated Finidi George on his appointment as Super Eagles coach and charged him to justify the confidence reposed on him while urging the Nigeria Football Federation to provide the enabling environment for him to succeed.

20.  Full Council commended Nigeria athletes at the recently held 13th  African Games in Ghana and urged the Ministry of Sports and Nigeria Olympic Committee to intensify preparations for Paris Olympics.

21. Full Council called on the Sports Ministry to collaborate more with SWAN and reserve more slots for its members of the association in subsequent international competitions sporting competitions remain media event.

22. Full Council commended the Government and People of Kano State for playing a good host to the leadership of the association.

Communiqué Drafting Committee

Chimezie Anaso - Chairman

Segun Giwa - Secretary

Chinwe Nnadozie - Member

Mustapha Musa - Member 

Ikenna Okonkwo - Secretary  General, SWAN

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