By John Egbokhan
International, continental and national pressures are being mounted on the Nigeria Olympic Committee (NOC) to conduct elections into positions in the Executive Committee, after the tenure of the members ended in October, 2009.
Sequel to the ultimatum given to the NOC by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to conduct its polls immediately, when both bodies met in Tanzania, recently, some members of the Executive Board, most of whom are going to constitute the bulk of the electorates whenever elections are held, are calling on the Habu Gumel-led Executive Committee to fix a date for the Annual General Meeting.
This powerful voting bloc in the much-awaited NOC polls, said that they were not the only ones worried stiff with the serial postponement of the AGM, pointing out that even the Association of National Olympic Committee in Africa (ANOCA) has also expressed his displeasure with the state of the Nigeria Olympic movement.
Also, the Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN, has also waded into the matter, calling on the IOC and ANOCA to intervene in the election matter of the NOC.
â€œFeelers from IOC indicate that the state of affairs in the NOC is a cause for concern as Nigeria is expected to give good example because of the respect she commands at the international arena. Some members of the Jacques Rogge led IOC are said to be displeased with what is going onâ€, volunteered one active member of the Executive Board.
Another power broker added that the â€œIOC is not the only body worried as ANOCA has equally frowned at the state of affairs noting it might send wrong signals to other Committees in Africa and elsewhere who see Nigeria as a leader in the international communityâ€
The long wait for NOC election has witnessed a legion of postponements since the botching of the AGM in Jigawa last December, owing to the wrongful disqualifications of some contestants like former Sports Minister, Sani Ndanusa.
The most recent postponement was that of May 13, which according to NOC spokesman Tony Nezianya, was at the instance of Chairman of the Reconciliation committee, Rev Moses Iloh. Bot some presidents of sports federations have dismissed the excuse insisting it is aimed at further prolonging the issue and holding on to power.
In a letter signed by its President, Saidu Abubakar, SWAN, noted that the refusal of Gumel to fix a date for an AGM was undermining Nigeriaâ€™s preparations for the upcoming Commonwealth Games in India and the 2012 Olympic Games in London.