Kafaya Omisore (left) receiving the women’s top prize of the Ist Vice President’s Wheelchair Tennis Championshp from Mrs. Teluwo.
Barely eight months after mounting the saddle as President of the Nigeria Tennis Federation, NTF, Mr. Dayo Akindoju has dumped wheelchair tennis, investigation by PM EXPRESS has revealed.
And he is bare-faced about it.
In spite of numerous promises he made to the wheelchair tennis constituency before national sports federations’ election of June 13, 2017, Mr Akindoju has severed all contacts with the representatives and tacitly asked them to look elsewhere for their salvation.
Like the typical streetwise politician, Mr. Akindoju courted the friendship of the wheelchair tennis constituency in the run up to the election.
According to one of the players who spoke exclusively to PM Express “He was always in touch with our leaders on phone and even invited them to Abuja before the election”.
During the pre-election calls and meetings, Mr. Akindoju who is a businessman vowed to revive the flagging fortunes of wheelchair tennis with regular tournaments and proper funding.
The player who spoke anonymously continued “We believed in his promises and campaigned vigorously for him”.
“He even sponsored the trip of our representatives to Abuja for the election and we gave him our crucial vote”, the player revealed.
“But since his inauguration”, the player alleged “Mr. Akindoju has turned his back on us. He doesn’t even pick the calls of our representatives and doesn’t reply text messages.”
The player lamented “With his attitude so far, the new NTF president has demonstrated that he has no plan for wheelchair tennis. It is clear now that his friendship with us before the election was for the sole purpose of getting our vote. He has got it and has dumped us” .
Though he promised regular competitions, eight months after assuming office as president,not one has come to fruition.
To confirm the worst fear of players that they are in a fix, the NTF President one of the three sponsors of the ITF approved Futures 1-3 scheduled for Abuja from April 16 to May 6,2018 whereas he has declined to provide funds or look for sponsors for the national wheelchair team supposed to travel to Kenya for a Davis Cup qualifier(African zone)between February 14-18.
Mr. Akindoju’s ascension to the tennis top job was made easy by former NTF President, Mr.Sani Ndanusa who wanted his friend to succeed him.
He was a last minute candidate anointed by Ndanusa, after the guidelines for the election shut out the former president who wanted to go for a fourth term.
The new guidelines barred Presidents who had done two terms from contesting.