In Badminton Federation of Nigeria (BFN) Elections, it was literally a stroll in the park at both the South West Zone and that of South East.
The representatives of both regions in the 2017 to 2021 cycle were returned almost with massive acclamation. The elections are part of the nationwide exercise going on simultaneously across all the sports zones of Nigeria.
In Ibadan,the zonal headquarters of the South West Zone, the incumbent BFN president, Francis Orbih received a new mandate to represent the zone and will again be seeking to head the board for the 2021 to 2025 cycle. He beat his challenger, Bolaji Agarawu by five votes to one.
He expressed gratitude to the delegates and promised to work towards improving on the popularity of badminton in the South West and Nigeria
In Enugu, queen of the badminton court, Oby Solaja, a former national and continental champion, had her mandate overwhelmingly reaffirmed as she obtained the four available votes, with Ebonyi State representative abstaining.
Four years ago, she amassed three votes to narrowly edge out contender, David Onuoha of Ebonyi State who got two votes. This time around, there was no opposing vote as she was acclaimed to have represent the zone well.
The 2019 Africa Woman in Badminton Award winner remarked after the election: “it is with deep appreciation and great sense of responsibility that I speak with you today. I sincerely thank you for believing in me.”
Magnanimous in victory, she counselled that the spirit of sportsmanship should prevail calling on her sole opponent to team up so that the South East will bring up more talents.
“The election is over. It is time for us to come together and put the entire South East back on not just national prominence, but also international.
“I also thank all the various representatives of sports departments, especially the sports commissioners, directors of sports and representatives of governments in all the South Eastern State. You are very wonderful.
“It is my belief that with our combined efforts at reviving badminton at the grassroots, South East is set to produce, not just future national champions, but outstanding international stars. Together, we shall make this possible.
“Together, we shall strive to uplift our youths and re create new and more vibrant Oby Edogas.
“I sincerely appreciate your kind gestures. You have embolden me to even do more than the modest achievements of my last tenure.
“Together, and with the Grace of our Lord, badminton will receive a new vigour in our Zone. We shall strive to be the hot bed of badminton stars in the country. May God help us all.”