By Tony Ubani
THE purported disqualification of Sports Minister and Chairman of the National Sports Commission, NSC, Engr. Sani Ndanusa, has definitely hit the sour note with Director General of the NSC, Dr. Patrick Ekeji, describing the action as â€œexecutive rascalityâ€.
The Engr. Habu Gumel-led NOC disqualified the minister on allegations that his election into the Confederation of African Tennis has not reached four years, the criteria for a would-be President contestant and the fact that he violated the rules of NOC by getting elected as President of Nigeria Tennis Federation in absentia in Abuja. But Ekeji hit back that those who pronounced the minister disqualified on those allegations were displaying their brazen ignorance of facts.
â€œThe minister got elected into CAT in 2003 and was re-elected in 2007. The same NOC that is claiming that the minister got re-elected into Tennis without being present has held meetings with him twice as a member of the NOC and did not deem it fit to walk him out. Itâ€™s either they are doing this out of ignorance or mere mischief for them to perpetuate themselves in office.
â€œThe minister was present at the election and got duly registered before leaving for an Executive Council Meeting. He was not the only President that was elected in absentia. Austin Edeze, too, was elected as President of Wrestling. He was not present. They were elected because they were the sole candidates that ran as President of their Federations. It was different with the case of Chief Raymond Dokpesi. He was not present but there were other candidates who contested for the same position with him in Weightlifting.
â€œIf there was no candidate who ran against him, he too would have been returned unopposed. Besides that, at what point did NOC constitute itself to determine or scrutinize the elections of sports federations? The Principle of Olympism is fairness. They cannot disenfranchise Sani because he is eminently qualified for that position. They concocted a constitution that does not allow for well meaning Nigerians to come on board because they want to remain in office. We are studying the situationâ€, Chief Ekeji said.
Chief Ekeji also poured cold water on the fact that Gumel as a member of IOCÂ would want to consolidate by becoming the President of NOC after eight years in office.
â€œItâ€™s for selfish reasons. He is already in IOC. If he concentrates on IOC, Nigeria will have two persons in the IOCâ€, Ekeji said noting that IOC will would ask questions over their purported disqualification of Ndanusa.