Sports administrators and aspirants into the boards of the National Sports Federations are sharply divided over the guidelines released for the forthcoming elections.
The guidelines emerged after a stakeholders’ meeting with sports minister, Solomon Dalung, on Thursday where June 9 was also picked as the date for the polls.
The guideline stipulated that people who have served two terms as presidents cannot contest while those who are either presidents or vice presidents of international sports bodies are not eligible to contest for federation presidency.
A former member of the Nigeria Basketball Federation, Colonel Sam Ahmedu, believed to be aspiring for the presidency post of the body said the guideline was a welcome development.
Ahmedu argued that the guidelines were in agreement with the statutes of the Federation of International Basketball Association.
“The Ministry of Sports has been in charge of guidelines over the years and I don’t know why people are making noise this time.
Those who are talking about CAS are also ignorant because CAS will only work on guidelines which we already have,” Ahmedu said.
The President of the Nigeria Wrestling Federation, Daniel Igali, who is expected to run for another term as president cried out over the guidelines. Igali said the guidelines do not conform with the international best practices worldwide and might not start the test of time.
He said: “In global sports politics, longevity is everywhere. Gumel would never be an IOC member if he was not Vice President volleyball for all these years.
Small countries like Canada currently have three IOC members because of the long term investment in international sports politics.
“While some decisions made were a departure from the norm, these two particular clauses do not augur well for the development of sports in the country.
And don’t get me wrong, am also against sit tight autocrats; am also not in support of one person hugging all sports positions, but we have to take these issues as they come and not throw the baby with the bath water.”
The Chairman of the Sports Reform Committee, Godwin Kienka, said the guidelines ware in the right direction. “It is a new dawn for sports in Nigeria.
We must salute the efforts of the minister of sports because the impact of the election guidelines will manifest in the next decades to come,” Kienka said.
Some of the casualties of the election guidelines are ex-sports minister and Nigeria Tennis Federation boss, Sanusi Ndanusa; IOC member, NOC and Nigeria Volleyball Federation president, Habu Gumel; Handball federation boss, Yusuf Dauda, Nigeria Basketball Federation boss, Tijjani Umar; and President, Athletic Federation of Nigeria, Solomon Ogba.