By Tony Ubani
Federation Presidents fault NOC
SPORTS Minister, Sani Ndanusa, was without boxing gloves but he delivered a sucker punch when he described NOC President Habu Gumel as a landmine that needs to be uprooted for true Olympic spirit to reign in Nigerian sports.
And in another development, 18 of the 22- member Executive Board of NOC, have declared as null and void the screening exercise chaired by Habu Gumel that disqualified Sports Minister, Sani Ndanusa, from running for the December 9 polls in Dutse, Jigawa State. â€œPeople are desperate to hold on to office but must they lie and rubbish others for their selfish interest? Gumel is a landmine that needs to be uprooted for true Olympic spirit to return to Nigerian sports. He has done nothing in his eight years as NOC Presidentâ€,Â the minister said.
And also smoking on the heels of the minister, the Presidents of the Sports Federations that make up the Executive Board of NOC cited Article 29.1 of the NOC constitution which states that â€œone Trustee and two patrons shall be appointed by the Executive Board. One of them shall act as Chairman and the other as Returning Officer.
This provision has not been complied with before the purported disqualification of candidates”, they said. The Sports Federation Presidents also tore to shreds the decision of the NOC to suspend the Nigerian Tennis Federation. Drawing from Article 7.5 of the NOC constitution which states that, â€œthe NOC shall not interfere in the internal administration of any National Federation, but shall if necessary, draw the attention of the National Federation to any act, omission, or development which constitutes an infringement of the aims and objectives of the Nigeria Olympic Committee”.
Drawing powers from the NOC constitution, the Executive Board reasoned that all the provisions were not complied with before the purported disqualification.
They also ruled that in view of these developments, the AGM fixed for Dutse on December 9 would no longer be feasible. They also called on the Executive Committee to summon an urgent meeting of the Executive Board to appoint one Trustee and two patrons to supervise the electoral process as required by the constitution (Article 29.1)
But reacting, the Habu Gumel camp insisted that Engineer Sani Ndanusa remains disqualified for the elections.