NOC moves to save Nigeria from IOC ban
• Wants election guidelines harmonised
• Dalung expected in Lagos to dialogue with ‘angry’ officials
In a move seen in some quarters as efforts to save Nigerian sports from international embarrassment, the Nigeria Olympics Committee (NOC), resolved yesterday that there was need to harmonize the election guidelines released by the Sports Minister, Solomon Dalung, last week for the June 20 polls.
The guidelines released in Abuja during a stakeholders’ meeting ruled out some big names like the NOC boss, Engr. Habu Gumel, Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) boss, Solomon Ogba, Nigeria Tennis Federation (NTF) President, Engr. Sani Ndanusa, chairman of Nigeria Handball Federation, Yusuf Dauda and Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF) President, Tijani Umar, from contesting for the top seats when elections come up. The new guideline also stipulates that those occupying positions in international sports bodies shall not contest for the post of president and vice president in the coming election.
But the NOC, which is the body responsible for Nigeria’s participation in the Olympic Games, Commonwealth Games and other international competitions, said at the end of its executive committee meeting yesterday in Lagos that some ‘gray areas’ in the election guidelines must be harmonized as quickly as possible.
The NOC headed by Engr. Habu Gumel said, among other things, that there should be a harmonious guideline on national federation elections in line with international best practices.
There are talks that the sports minister is allowed to carry on with the election guidelines in the coming election, might force the IOC and other international bodies to impose ban on Nigerian sports.
A communiqué read by the Secretary General of the NOC, ex-international Tunde Popoola said: “The essence of this harmonious guidelines is to ensure that it conforms with the Charter of the International Olympic Committee and the Constitutions of the various international sports federations.”
The communiqué read by Secretary General of the NOC, Tunde Popoola stated that the issue of “eligibility” as contained in the Ministry’s Guidelines does not conform with provisions of the IOC Charter and Constitutions of the International Federations.
It also stated that the provisions in the Guidelines, which forbids Nigerians International Federation officers from holding offices in their national federations locally will inhibit opportunities of getting more Nigerians into international federations in the long run.
The NOC said that the composition of the Appeals Committee, as per the Ministry’s Guidelines, which comprises of mainly appointees of Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports, with one NOC member, is not in accord with the principles of fair hearing.
It was learnt yesterday that Dalung would be in Lagos today to meet with some top sports officials on the way forward.