All is now set for elections into the 42 Nigerian national sports federations.
According to a press statement by the Ministry of Youth and Sports, the ministry and the Nigeria Olympic Committee (NOC) were given the all clear by the House of Representatives Committee on Sports on Wednesday to continue with the election slated for Tuesday.
In his submission, the Technical Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Sports Hon Danburam Abubakar Nuhu argued that the Ministry had not erred in the dissolution of the federations in May this year.
“As chairman of the technical committee, I do have information that I wish to share with the House.
“The Ministry is trying to correct the mistakes of the past. According to the Olympic Charter, elections are supposed to be held after every Olympic Games.
“Elections were due to be held in 2012 immediately after the Olympics but it was held in 2013 and likewise in 2016, the federations were supposed to be dissolved immediately after the Olympic Games but elections are now taking place in 2017.
“Now, the Ministry has seen what needs to be done to correct an abnormality.
“We heard that a batch was inaugurated around May while another batch was inaugurated in November or thereabout. The tenure of every federation is supposed to be four years but they must also respect the rules of the law which states that there must be elections after every Olympics.
“The elections were due since last year. What the Ministry is trying to do shouldn’t be seen as an illegality but seen as trying to correct an abnormality in line with the Olympic Charter. If this is so, then the matter should be put to rest.” Danburam stated.
The Secretary General of the Nigeria Olympic Committee Tunde Popoola also told the committee that the NOC, the umbrella body of all federations is compelled to have a good working relationship with the government as stated in the IOC code of Ethics and Charter Principle 7.
“Harmonious relationship with government; Governments, constituents of the Olympic movement, other sports organizations and stakeholders have a complimentary mission and should work together towards the same goals.”
Popoola said that the greatest partner of the NOC and the federations is the government.
He explained that elections were held for the 24 Olympic sports and another for those known as ‘concession’ sports.
“In the past few years we have been living a lie, believing that it has to be done the way it is being done.
“The Minister wants a practical change to ensure that we follow the normal way of doing things as in international best practices. Change is very difficult and people want to resist change.”Popoola said.
In his remarks, the Chairman of the Committee Hon. Buka Goni Lawal restated the resolve of the Committee to work with the Ministry and the NOC to achieve a common purpose which is to move the country’s sports forward.
He thanked the Ministry, the NOC for their brief and the suggestions made by the technical committee Chairman and other honourable members.
Hon Buka Lawal thereafter gave the Ministry and the NOC an all clear to conduct elections next week.
Presidents of Cricket, Basketball, Wrestling, Rugby, and Karate were in attendance.