The Nigerian Ministry of Sports has shifted ground on the guidelines for the 2017 elections into national sports federations. The ministry in a press statement on Friday evening announced that guidelines have been amended.
Earlier, the Nigeria Olympic Committee had kicked against the guideline. This might have informed the amendments.
The tenure of presidents of national sports associations has now been extended to 12 years as against the earlier proposed two terms of eight years.
This is one of the decisions taken after a meeting of the Ministry of Youth and Sports, the Nigeria Olympic Committee and some federations presided over in Lagos by the Nigerian sports minister, Solomon Dalung.
“This means that a federation’s president can now spend 12 years in office and statute barred to seek for re-election after the three terms”, the statement read.
“Only Presidents of International Federations will not be eligible to contest for the National Federations’ presidency. The Vice Presidents can contest.
“We also resolved that the NOC should be actively involved in driving the process and look at areas that can be adjusted in the interest of democracy” Dalung was quoted to have said.
A seven-man electoral appeals committee was also constituted to consider and decide on all appeals and petitions arising from the elections.
The committee will be chaired by the Acting Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Youth and Sports, Alhaji AbdulRazak Salau.
The body includes: a representative of the NOC, Aminu K. Idris, Director at the Independent National Electoral Commission INEC, Col Maharaja Mahmoud (rtd) a former Executive Secretary of the defunct National Sports Commission, Chairman of State Directors of Sports Forum, Tunde Kazeem, Emmanuel Zira and the Legal Adviser of the sports ministry, Mrs Carol Ojukwu who will serve as Secretary.
The Committee will be inaugurated before the election. Meanwhile, the zonal and national elections will now hold on the same day in Abuja. A congress will enable delegates to vote for the zonal contestants in the morning while National Federations’ election will take place later on the same day.
Speaking after the joint meeting of the NOC, Solomon Dalung remarked that the guidelines were reviewed following wide consultations with sports stakeholders.
“We reviewed some provisions of the guidelines and we agreed that there was need for us to reach a consensus. We decided to make amendments to some of the guidelines after wide consultations with the stakeholders in the industry to conform to the IOC Charter and international best practices.
“In our resolve to produce democratically elected national federations, we met with the stakeholders to revisit and fine tune the guidelines.
“We have also put in place a check mechanism as the congress will now elect the Presidents. We gave them that grace of a last chance to contest for three terms and that will be final.