BY KINGSLEY OYERO.
All eyes will be on the Nigeria Weightlifting elections in Abuja on Friday when Chairman of Delta State Sports Commission, Tony Okowa and Yahaya Mohammed battle for the top job in Weightlifting.
Mohammed is the incumbent Vice-President of the Nigeria Weightlifting Federation, while Okowa is the former Chairman of Delta Force FC and a big advocate of grassroots sports development.
One of Okowa’s biggest fans is the Nigeria Football Federation president Amaju Pinnick, who endorsed him when he emerged as chairman, Delta State Sports Commission.
“Tony Okowa is the right choice for the job. We are all living witnesses to the marvellous job he did as Chairman of Delta Force. I strongly believe that he is going to build on the success attained by Delta State in sports generally,” Pinnick said.
A major stakeholder on condition of anonymity claims that Okowa will be a round peg in a round hole due to his experience as Delta State Sports Commissioner.
“We are happy that the Election tribunal nullified election, now we can do the right thing and elect Tony Okowa; who can get us private and corporate sponsorship and guarantee better welfare for weightlifters and coaches as seen in the good job he is doing in Delta state”
The Weightlifting election is scheduled for Friday at the National Stadium, Abuja after the Appeals Committee set up by the Ministry of Youth and Sports announced the nullification of the elections held on June 13 following a petition by Okowa.
“The petitioner protested against the result of the vice-presidential and presidential elections as a result of irregularities such as multiple registrations and voting by proxy.
“The Committee having noted the irregularities highlighted in the petition and having confirmed same from various sources came to the conclusion that the election be nullified and fresh elections ordered for the positions of vice-president and president.’’
Meanwhile, Mohammed feels the late release of funds by the Federal Government was one of the major problems faced by the previous administration.
“One major problem we have in Nigeria is lack or late release of funds, which leads to late preparation. This is a major problem that cuts across all the federations.” From all indications, Tony Okowa is set to win the elections.