In a joint communiqué from both the National Sports council and the National Olympic Committee of Sierra Leone a decision was reached to suspend President Andre Hope and Secretary General Dauda Sundufu Sowa from the Sierra Leone athletics association (SLAA).
This suspension as rendered them ineligible to participate in any elections of the association until further notice.
The communiqué further stated that since the international Association of Athletics Federation frowns at interim Executives, therefore elections for all posts in the SLAA will be conducted within one month of the release of this communiqué.
Therefore, with immediate effect, all Executive positions of the Sierra Leone Athletics Association is hereby declared vacant and the secretariat of the National Sports Council (NSC) will initiate the process to convene the electoral congress to ensure free and fair elections.
The communiqué again stated that the decision to suspend both of them came after a long running feud between the two that the spillover effect has created a negative division among the membership of the association resulting in the establishment of camps and factions.
The emergence of this disturbing development has also culminated in several violent confrontations and these camps or factions have found their way into school athletics meetings thereby resulting in the increase in the level of violence.
The communiqué also stated that the objective of the Sierra Leone Athletics Association has been completely drowned amidst these chaotic scenes as they publicly unfold.
The sport for which the athletes must be the primary beneficiaries has been permanently stagnated for the mentioned duration and the interest in the state of athletics which we have fought so hard to re-kindle has dissipated to its lowest ever in the history of this sports in our beloved country, leaving our athletes totally destabilized and frustrated.
Several efforts have been made by the National Olympic Committee in collaboration with the National Sports Council of Sierra Leone, stakeholders, the sports Academic family, the sports community and ultimately the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports.
Due to a host of conflicting reports received by the International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) from both the President of the Association Andre Hope and the Secretary General Dauda Sundufu Sowa, an envoy by the name of Cheikh Thiare was dispatched to Freetown to work with the National Sports Council and NOC to amicably resolve the differences and any other related issues, in the interest of the sport.
After two days of intense and frank deliberations it was resolved, in the interest of peace and development and for the benefit of the Athletes and country that the elective executive is allowed to complete their term of office.
The National Olympic committee and the National Sports Council of Sierra Leone accepted the resolution adopted and commended the effort of IAAF.
The communiqué also mentioned that the tenure of office of the present executive had expired since November 2009 and at the completion of its tenure of office, some other ugly developments erupted within the association resulting in an increase in bitterness confrontations and blatant show in this country. However, mindful of the nature and implications of this matter, we have demonstrated maturity, professionalism and tolerance to a great extent. Considering pending international competitions no responsible organization will assume the back seat and continue to deny their athletes the opportunity to participate.
Therefore, executive members involved in the present deadlock for a peaceful settlement of the matter, in the spirit of Olympism and in line with the mandate of the National Sports Council of Sierra Leone in collaboration with the National Olympic Committee, they have no alternative but to allow sanity to prevail.