By Olayinka Owolewa
The Kwara chapter of the Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN) has threatened to boycott the 5th National Youth Games (NYG) holding in Ilorin from Saturday Sept. 17.
This was part of decisions reached by the body after its State Executive Committee (SEC) meeting on Friday in Ilorin, following certain lapses on the part of the Games’ organisers.
In a statement signed by its Secretary, Olayinka Owolewa, Kwara SWAN said the organisers failed to consider the activities of the media in their plans.
“The Federal Ministry of Youths and Sports Development had consistently disrespected our members over the years through the non-provision of a Games Media Centre and shuttle buses for journalists, as well as a cumbersome accreditation process.”
It also noted that if a member of the Association had been part of the games’ Main Organising Committee (MOC) or Local Organising Committee (LOC), these issues would have been addressed.
“Right from the beginning of the staging of the NYG in Ilorin, the Ministry has never provided a Media Centre.
“How do you hold an event like this and sports journalists will be hanging under trees to work, with no room to compare notes or shuttle buses to ease movement. We have complained over the years, yet there has been no change.
“What we are asking for is a Media Centre, shuttle bus(es) to assist our members to the various venues and a seamless accreditation process for journalists covering the games.’’
Kwara SWAN then warned that if nothing changes between now and early on Sunday, the chapter would officially notify its National Secretariat of its decision.
It added that this would be with a view to seeking a wider non-coverage of this year’s NYG by the media, and urged its members to wait for directives.