The International Athletics Federation, IAAF has finally broken their silence in the ongoing Sierra Leone Athletics Association (SLAA) power struggle saga.
In a December 1st 2015 letter addressed to the SLAA Secretary General, Dauda Sundufu Sowa, the Director of IAAF President’s office, Nick Davies stated that they (IAAF) will never interfere in the affairs of a national federation but will not recognise any elections that is not convened by an outgoing executive.
The full letter from the IAAF reads: “This is to acknowledge recipient of your email with regards to the SLAA’s extraordinary assembly held on November 20th 2015.
At the onset I would like to underline that there has always been problems with the SLAA as far as the elective general assembly process is concerned.”
“Back in 2011 the former Director of the IAAF President’s office came to Sierra Leone to ascertain that an elective general assembly was properly conducted with genuine stakeholders taking part. This led to the election of Abdul Karim Sesay as President and yourself as the General Secretary.
“You may wish to note that the IAAF keeps close monitoring of the elective general assembly of our member federations and in fact we wrote to the SLAA on March 11th 2015 reminding you all that the mandate of the current board was going to expire on 3rd April 2015.”
“The response we got was that due to the Ebola crisis, and public health emergency act, meetings were not allowed. On 19th June 2015, SLAA informed the IAAF that there will be an extraordinary general assembly on the 31st July through the 1st August 2015 and an elective general assembly on the 5th September 2015.
On 10th September 2015, the IAAF requested information from the SLAA about the outcome of the elective general assembly held on the 5th September 2015. The response we received was that the elective general assembly was postponed to 11th November 2015 and that there were a lot of interference around the organisation of the assembly since the Defence Minister declared his intention to run for the presidency and there was also an intimidation campaign going.”
The letter further stated: “On 13th November, we received an email from your President informing us that the Ministry of Sports and the National Sports Council had issued a Press Release to call for an indefinite suspension of the elective general assembly that had been schedule for 11th November 2015.
“Sundufu Sowa, being the General Secretary of the Federation, you were well aware of the decision and party to all decisions and now you are forwarding us the minutes of an extra-ordinary meeting held on 20th November 2015 by a so-called ‘Legitimate Stakeholders of SLAA’ whereby the Deputy Minister of Sports was present despite the fact that there was an official Press Release from the Ministry of Sports and the National Sports Council that they had called off the elective general assembly that was schedule on 11th November 2015.”