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December 25, 2005

Deaf athletes manhandle federation chief over theft

From: The Tide - Port Harcourt,Niger Delta,Nigeria - Dec 25, 2005

Deaf sportsmen and women on Friday threw caution into the winds, when they rough-handled the Vice-President of the Nigerian Deaf Sports Federation, Mr. John Yusuf at the National Stadium, Lagos.

The deaf athletes, who were 30 turned down all pleas from passers-by as they descended heavily on Yusuf, tearing his shirt and beating him for alleged misappropriation of a sum of N400,000.

Yusuf, after the fracas, tendered a letter of resignation as first Vice-President of the body to save himself from further assaults from his aggrieved colleagues.

He also promised to refund the N400,000 which he claimed, he borrowed from Mr. Simon Obiya to prosecute his trip to South Africa, where he went to observe the Melbourne Commonwealth qualification match between South Africa and Ghana.

The athletes, led by Bello Bala, among other things, asked for the cancellation of the recent elections conducted in the federation by Mr Elias Gora, which they claimed was fraught by fraudulent practices.

“The supposed recent elections was illegal, due to the fact that, Mr. Gora had already selected the would-be executives long before the elections without due processes,” Bala said.

He explained that, the vote of no-confidence passed by the entire athletes on the former executives, was as a result of financial recklessness and visionless leadership style and unacountability of the last board, led by Mr. Suleiman Kaita.

Bala called on the Sports Minister, Dr. Saidu Sambawa to urgently find a lasting solution to the election malpractices by revisiting the issue if he wanted peace to reign in the federation.

He also cautioned the Sports Ministry never to send Gora as the electoral officer to avoid any embarassment he might face in the hands of the athletes. “My colleagues are already spoiling for war with Gora and I think the best thing is not to show up at the venue of the re-elections,” he warned.

The Tide Online is published by Rivers State Newspaper Corporation

© 2005 The Tide Online