By John Egbokhan
Chairman of the Nigeria Olympic Committee (NOC), Electoral Committee, Rev. Moses Ilo, yesterday, ruled that former Sports Minister and Chairman, National Sports Commission, Sani Ndanusa is qualified to contest for the NOC presidency.
Speaking in a telephone interview with Sports Vanguard, days after the presentation of its report to Habu Gumel last week at the NOC secretariat at the National Stadium, Lagos, Iloh said that part of the recommendations that the committee, comprising himself, Ibrahim Galadima and Olatokunbo Thomas, reached was that Ndanusa did not forge documents, which he presented to the screening committee, chaired by Gumel.
â€œWe found out that the certificates and documents that Sani Ndanusa, the president of the Nigeria Tennis Federation, and first vice-President of the Confederation of African Tennis, were not fake and that as a Nigerian, he is qualified to contest to be president of the NOCâ€.
Interestingly, the former boss of the Nigeria Cycling Federation, also said that they also recommended that a serving Sports Minister should not stand for election, because of the need to curb unnecessary government interference, which might surface, a ruling that might have prevented Ndanusa fronm contesting, had Acting President of Nigeria, Goodluck Jonathan, not sacked all the members of the Federal Executive Cabinet, two weeks back.
Rev. Iloh said that the committeeâ€™s report would however need the ratification of the Congress to become binding on all members.
â€œWe insisted that the peaceful environment which the Olympic movement is noted for, must be restored immediately. We also recommended that everything must be done to make sure that government interference is restricted. Also, we posited that every executive committee member must not be allowed to exceed a maximum of two terms in office, which if accepted by the congress, means that Gumel who has spent eight years in office cannot stand for election in the next polls.
â€œWe also decided that it is wrong for a serving minister of sports to vie for the presidency seat because it would promote unnecessary government interference, whichÂ the Olympic movement frowns againstâ€, added Iloh.