The Sports Journalists Association of Nigeria (SPOJAN) has elected Adewale Ajayi as the inauagural president of the Association. The hitchfree election was conducted on Saturday 23rd, October 2021 as members elect officers into various executive positions.
SPOJAN is an Association of Nigerian journalists residing within and outside Nigeria with aim of providing enabling environment for its members by offering trainings, seminars, and most importantly taking in to cognisance welfare of members.
In his acceptance speech, the newly elected president of the Association, Wale Ajayi thank members for the opportunity bestow on him to lead the Association while also admitting the skepticism arrogated to the Association but promises to steer the course to a desireable destination.
The acceptance letter reads in part:
“A journey of a thousand miles has started in earnest with a big step. With great humility and with a heart full of joy, I say thank you to everyone that participated (in the voting exercise) and to everyone that voted for me.
“I also want to thank my big brother Mr. Dapo Sotiminu for believing in me and in this dream and for having the humility to step down for a younger brother to climb.”
SPOJAN is an apolitical Association and became a doctrine of necessity owing to series of challenges facing Nigerian journalists which the Association is commited to finding a lasting solution to.
“I want to sincerely thank everyone that voted today. We have all taken the first step towards re-writing and redefining our story as sports journalists. There are too many opportunities out there that most of us are not aware of. This is the time to explore and discover these opportunities. We are in this together and together we shall rediscover ourself in a profession that promises so much but offers so little.”
Contrary to misconception by many, SPOJAN has no plan to set up a parallel group against the constituted journalist’s body rather the Association is ready to be affiliated to the parental body which is the Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN).
Wale Ajayi reiterate the need to create opportunity for Sports journalists as this was echoed in the concluding part of his acceptance speech.
“Many are willing to learn so we must create opportunities for them to learn and acquire more knowledge. It is a massive task, a huge responsibility but these group of men and women elected as your SPOJAN executives are not shy of responsibilities or scared of challenges.
“This is a new dawn for sports journalism in Nigeria. Many are scared of this movement and many are also skeptical. There are a few among us that don’t want to be seen as joining a rebel group and are cleverly playing save.
“This is not a rival or rebel group, this is a movement of strong progressives and we are ready to take our destinies into our own hands. We are in SWAN, we are with SWAN but we not tied to that string that has tied us to a world of uncertainties.
“Journalism is big. It is a big profession and in it, there are business opportunities. Let’s go out there and explore.
Other elected executive members are
Arafat Aliu (1st Vice President, Diasporal), Enitan Obadina (Vice President, Nigeria), Kisu Sulola (Secretary), Ikenna Nwokedi (Assistant Secretary), Aleshinloye Owolabi (Treasurer), Mike Osarieme (Financial Secretary), Olawale Quadry ( Public Relation Officer), and Tobi Adepoju (Welfare Officer).