Author Ayoola Adeleke
It’s known all over the universe that it’s the work of the Media to share stories of any happenings and situation to all and sundry ragardless of the condition of the atmosphere, even at the war front.
In my over a decade of covering events, political inclusive, I never knew there are stages of competion that are not meant to be reported until I came across Mrs Ahmisu Tayo, the Chief Arbiter of Chess, at the ongoing National Youth Games, Ilorin.
It was time for the second round of an eleven rounds Blitz and she was addressing the already comfortably sitted players when I tried taking some pictures and share on the WhatsApp group created for journalists covering the games. I had just taken a shot with my mobile phone, not using camera in order not to cause distraction with its flashlight, but was taken aback at the next thing I heard, not from any how person, but the Chief Arbiter herself
“Who’s this one taking pictures? You can’t take pictures here untill tomorrow, the 5th round, this is blitz!” She uttered arrogantly and disrespectfully despite identifying myself as a journalist.
By her statement, I believe Madam Tayo hasn’t read through and probably didn’t participate in the orientation -if there was any organised at all- given to them on how to address the Media anytime they are approached for content.
Reading the second sentence of the rules printed at the back of the accreditation tag which read; “I agree to be filmed, televised, photographed, identified and otherwise recorded during the Games under the conditions and for the purposes now or thereafter authorised by the “OC” in relation to the promotion of the Games”.
Further, the last part of the rule states: “The relevant provisions and the rules have been brought to my attention by my State Sports Association and/or my National Sports Federation”. By this rule, it clearly indicate that after being briefed by her Federation and haven gone through this rule, with her years of experience to have been appointed as Chief Arbiter, Mrs Tayo has intentionally violated the rules of the games and gone against the injunction of the “OC” i.e the Organising Committee for no just cause. Thus, it’s important she be made by her Federation as presided by a responsible, intelligent, easy going and astute administrator in person of DCP Mohammed Sanni, to apologise for her unruly attitude towards the member of the Media she hindered from carrying out his function at the Chess hall and promise not to act in such way any longer
Also, I request that Mrs Tayo provide the rule book in Chess that forbids taking of pictures at any point of competion.
Earlier, the same scenario almost repeated itself in the Wrestling hall, when one of the officials said I may have to leave the hall before the commencement of the wrestling event on Saturday evening, but didn’t eventually after I had to move aside to another sitting point.
Some attitude put up by others games officials include not obliging to request for fixtures or result and medals table, stating that it’s not yet time to have them released.
Kindly note that the purpose of writing this is not to put anyone to shame or cause any uproar, but to have the erring ones called to order and give them proper orientation on relating with the Media which has been poor and unacceptable and for others to learn from this.
It’s pertinent to know that the role of the media in covering sporting events can never be underestimated thus, the officials in this festival, ragardless of their portfolios are meant to respond to the media at any point of coming to them for pictures, interviews, filming and other relevant things done in promoting the tournament. It should also be known to the officials that the Media are accredited the same way they (the officials) are accredited as stakeholders in the games and shouldn’t be hindered from carrying out their functions at any point in time.
Author Ayoola Adeleke is a Journalist currently covering the ongoing 6th National Youth Games at the University of Ilorin.