Row Over NOC Polls

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Yesterday’s elections into the board of the Nigeria Olympic Committee has left in its wake a  controversy that may render the results of the polls unacceptable by the International  Olympic Committee, IOC.

After the new executives were elected and sworn in, some aggrieved candidates led by the  former president of the body, Eng. Habu Ahmed Gumel, described the exercise as a kangaroo  election, which would not be accepted by the IOC.

Former Sports Minister, who is also the current President of Nigeria Tennis Federation, NTF,  Engr. Sani Ndanusa emerged the new president of the NOC in a one-sided election which saw  him defeating Gumel 23-0. The latter was not at the venue of the election at the NOC  secretariat at the National Stadium, Surulere, Lagos, Nigeria.

Gumel claimed that there was no election and that it has been cancelled since it was not  authorised by any assembly under the name “Congress Assembly”.

He said the NOC had earlier forwarded a letter postponing the elections to the IOC, which he  claimed was acknowledged. He said it is a pity that Nigeria, which will soon celebrate her  50 years of independence, failed to respect the international body and  still went ahead to  conduct a kangaroo election.

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“What happened in Lagos yesterday can be described as a charade. This is the type of thing  that happened in the Nigeria Football Federation, NFF, recently,” he said.

Gumel said that those who won the elections are some unserious Nigerians  who are after  their selfish interests rather than moving Nigerian sports forward.

Former Public Relations Officer, PRO of the body, Tony Nezianya, also faulted the elections,  saying the poll was conducted without following the principles of the rule of law.

Meanwhile, the new NOC boss, Ndanusa, who is the Vice President of the Confederation of  African Tennis, hailed the process that saw him emerge as the president of NOC. “The  election is okay and fair. During my tenure, I will carry along all members of the Olympic  family in Nigeria. The new executives will leave nothing to chance to ensure that the  country perform very well in international competitions.

—Sunday  Akintoye