Taekwondo Board Sacks Ashiru, Elects Binga As President

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Chika Chukwumerije
Chika Chukwumerije

The Nigeria Taekwondo Federation (NTF) has voted two-time African Champion in the sport, Mrs Margaret Elizabeth Binga, as its president.
This follows the decision of the board to sack its erstwhile president, Mr. George Ashiru, according to a statement signed by majority of the board members at their meeting held on December 12, 2015.

Below is the full statement, dated December 19, 2015, issued by the Taekwondo Federation on this development:

19th December 2015

PRESS STATEMENT BY THE BOARD OF THE NIGERIA TAEKWONDO FEDERATION

1. On 12th December 2015, the NTF Board unanimously voted [6 For, 1 Abstained] to remove Mr George Ashiru as the President of the Nigeria Taekwondo Federation.

2. Present at the board meeting were 9 persons: Mr George Ashiru [ex-President], Mrs Margaret Elizabeth Binga [ex Vice-President], Mr Ado Umar Garko [North-East], Alhaji Muh’d Maccido Garba [North-West], Mr Anthony Anafulu [North-Central], Chief Jonathan Nnaji [International], ACP Gideon Akinsola [Nigeria Police], Mr Abdullahi Saidu [Sponsor] and Mr Chika Yagazie Chukwumerije [Athlete’s Rep].

3. Absentees were Obumneme Arum [South-East] and Hon. Peter Ikpe [South-South].

4. A condensed summary of the issues was that the ex NTF President, Mr George Ashiru:

 was not a team player as he repeatedly side-lined or undermined the board in countless decision-making processes;

 did not protect the interest of Taekwondo as a Sport, having had Taekwondo downgraded from Grade 1 to 2 as a result of his inability to defend Taekwondo’s progress at a critical meeting.

 Kept the financial statement/condition of the Federation away from the board.

 Held only 4 board meetings in 2 and a half years, instead of the maximum of 12 required by the Code of Governance, a situation that ensured Federation issues could not be tackled as a team.

5. A 33-page document has been submitted to the office of the Honourable Minister of Youth & Sports, the Permanent Secretary for Youth & Sports, the Director-General of the National Sports Commission and the President of the Nigeria Olympic Committee, notifying them of the leadership change at the Nigeria Taekwondo Federation, and detailing the internal issues leading up to the unanimous decision.

6. There is no victor or vanquished as it is impossible for a part of the body to be severally affected without affecting in one way or the other, the functionality of the whole body.

7. Mr George Ashiru is a fine gentleman that has served to the best of his ability, and remains a strong resourceful pillar of the Nigeria Taekwondo Federation Board. For the board to fulfil its collective mandate, Mr George Ashiru’s contributions to the entire project of ensuring Nigeria Taekwondo remains a regional and global powerhouse remains critical.

8. As guided by the 2013 NSF Code of Governance, the ex-Vice President, Mrs Margaret Elizabeth Binga stepped up as the President of the Nigeria Taekwondo Federation, thus making her the “appraising officer of the Federation” whose function is to oversee the policy and direction of the board.

9. This historic thrust into the premier “driver seat” of the Nigeria Taekwondo Federation confirms that Mrs Margaret Elizabeth Binga is the FIRST-EVER FEMALE PRESIDENT in the history of the Nigeria Taekwondo Federation, and she comes with equally impressive credentials.

a. As an Athlete, she is a 2-time African Champion [Johannesburg 1999 & Abuja 2003] the first & only Nigeria Taekwondo athlete to achieve the feat. She was also undefeated nationally for 18 years, and was the female captain of the successful national taekwondo team to the 2003 All African Games.

b. As a Referee, she is the most travelled WTF International referee that has officiated in every major WTF tournament in 2015 and stands a good chance of being at the RIO 2016 Olympics, having made it to the final selection pool for the celebrated event.

c. As an Organizer, she was the Tournament Organizer [Technical] for the 3rd CCSF International Taekwondo Opens that heralded the best ever Taekwondo event witnessed in West Africa.

d. As a Professional, she is a senior officer with the Nigeria Customs Service, saddled with a lot administrative and operational responsibilities.

e. As a Board Member, she is the only female Executive of any of the Sports Federations as is currently constituted in Nigeria.

f. In addition, she is a loving wife and a doting mother of four children.

10. The Board has unreserved confidence in her ability to guide Nigeria Taekwondo into the Olympic Year of 2016, where the focus will be on:

a. Qualifying a team for the 2016 Olympics (URGENT)

b. Building a team for the 2016 World Junior Taekwondo Championships in November 2016.

c. Organizing various Athletes, Coaching, Sports Admin Workshops [Regional and National] to the direct benefit of Taekwondo stakeholders in the country.

d. Expanding the political and social profile of Nigeria on the continental and global stage.

e. Increasing the impact and role of Women in the sport of Taekwondo in Nigeria.
Thank you for supporting one of the most dynamic and active sports in Nigeria. More details and plans will be communicated as required.
With sporting regards,
SIGNED
Margaret Elizabeth Binga, President, Nigeria Taekwondo Federation
Mr Ado Umar Garko, President, Nigeria Taekwondo Federation, North-East;
Alhaji Muh’d Maccido Garba, North West;
Chief Jonathan Nnaji, International
Mr Anthony Anafulu, North Central
Mr Abdullahi Saidu, (Sponsor)
Mr Chika Yagazie Chukwumerije, Athlete’s Rep


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