Abuja – Preparations by the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development have heightened for the zonal and national elections into the boards of National Para-Sports Federations, an official said on Tuesday.
Yemi Usikaye, the ministry’s Coordinator for the Para-Sports Elections, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja that the preparations have been underway according to the approved timeline.
“All activities leading to the Feb. 15 elections in Abuja have been going on smoothly, and we are on course,’’ he said.
Usikaye added that the timeline has been designed by the ministry towards ensuring successful zonal and national elections.
“We have arranged it that the national elections should hold at the Indoor Sports Hall of the National Stadium in Abuja, and this will be preceded by the zonal elections at the zonal headquarters on Feb. 12.
“But, before these we have a set of activities which will lead to the programmes of Feb. 12 and Feb. 15,’’ the ministry official said.
Usikaye who is the ministry’s Deputy Director for Para-Sports said activities towards the elections have commenced since the Planning Committee Meeting of Jan. 11.
“We have also distributed the approved guideline of elections to state associations and stakeholders on Jan. 15.
“Ministry also set a Jan. 17 deadline for the setting up and inauguration of Electoral Committees by the relevant organs, as well as the Appeals Committees and Election Monitors. This has been done.
“Also, the nomination forms have been released to the federations on Jan. 19, with the deadline set for last Friday,’’ he said.
The Para-Sports Elections Coordinator disclosed that the electoral process has now reached the level of submitting and verifying the names of representatives of other constituencies on Thursday and Friday.
“These names are not with those of the zonal representatives, however,’’ he said.
Usikaye said the ministry has also set Feb. 8 to Feb. 9 for the hearing of petitions and appeals on the elections at the other constituencies, apart from the zonal level.
“Bye elections arising from petitions and appeals at other constituencies, apart from the zonal elections, will also hold on Feb. 12,’’ he said.
The Sports Ministry’s Deputy Director for Para-Sports also said the congress for the election of Zonal Representatives, Vice Presidents and Presidents of Para-Sports Federations would hold on Feb. 15.
“We also expect to have those who have appeals to submit their letter of appeals same day, while we will hear the petitions and appeals arising from the elections on Feb. 19.
“The bye elections arising from these petitions and appeals at the zonal and national elections will then hold on Feb. 22, while the inauguration of the new boards of the para-sports federations will hold on Feb. 27,’’ he said.
The 2018 para-sports elections will be conducted by seven national para-sports federations.
These federations are those of para-athletics, para-powerlifting, para-soccer, sitting volleyball, wheelchair basketball, para-swimming and amputee football.(NAN)