Dalung Tasks Electoral, Appeals Committee on Free, Fair Elections

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*Umar reelected NBBF president in Kano

The Minister of Youth and Sports Solomon Dalung has charged the Electoral Committee Members to be fair, just, courageous and unbiased in the conduct of today’s National Sports Federations elections.
Dalung gave the charge while inaugurating the 93-man committee at the VIP Lounge of the National Stadium Abuja on Monday.

Elections into the 31 National Sports Federations hold today at the National Stadium Abuja starting from 9am.
In his remarks, the minister said that the foundation of change in the sports sector will be laid during the conduct of the sports federations elections and harped on the need to get it right through a democratised process.

“It is important and critical that we get this elections right. It is the foundation of the change we are trying to establish. The outcome will either justify or vilify our intentions. It is the credibility of the process that will vindicate our stand to democratise the Sports Federations.

” Apart from the transition of the old tradition where 13 persons were appointed into the boards, the expansion of the electoral college from 13 to 54 presents its unique challenges. If a process is fair, transparent and credible, both winners and losers will have a sense of victory. So, I charge you all to ensure that we achieve our collective objectives of delivering a fair, transparent and credible election,” Dalung said.

The President of the Nigeria Olympic Committee (NOC) Habu Gumel, also advised the Electoral Committee members to conduct elections in a democratic way as Nigeria will be monitored by international bodies and observers.

” I will not like to receive any letter from any international federation or the International Olympic Committee asking questions about this election. We should do this properly and let it be the best ever. You should conduct this election without sentiments and favour.” Gumel said.

Responding, the Electoral Committee Chairman of the Badminton Federation, Kefas Lar, thanked the Ministry, the NOC and all sports stakeholders for finding them worthy to serve the country in this capacity.

“We thank you for the elaborate explanation of the guidelines to us all. May I state categorically that, having served as the President of the Nigeria Badminton Federation for eight years, the President of African Badminton for five years and the World Badminton Federation for six years, this is the very first time that I am seeing very serious business in the electoral process.

“We are all aware of the decay that is going on in sports administration. I assure you, on behalf of other members, that Tuesday’s elections will be fair, transparent, just and based on the major principles as stated in the electoral guidelines. We pledge to give all our support to ensure that we come out with one of the best elections as projected by the NOC President,” Lar assured.

The Minister also redeployed all the secretaries of the federations to other federations to maximise transparency. The secretaries will return to their original federations after the elections.
A 7-man Elections Appeals Committee was also inaugurated thereafter.

The members were also charged to ensure that they preside over appeals, petitions and complaints of aggrieved contestants with justice and fairness.
The Chairman of the committee and Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Youth and Sports, Abdulrazak Salau, also pledged on behalf of the members, to live up to the task assigned to them.

Meanwhile, the Nigerian Basketball Federation (NBBF) Monday returned Malam Tijjani Umar as president of the federation for the period 2017 to 2021 at its election which took place in Kano on Monday.
The election took place 24 hours before the Abuja elections where winner of the South South ticket to the new board, Musa Kida is aiming to contest the NBBF presidency today.

Ex international, Olumide Oyedeji was elected vice president and FIBA world rep on the board.
Others elected include; Alh Muktar Kaleh, member and FIBA Africa rep; Dr Joseph Adeyemo from Kwara, member and North Central rep; Mustapha Suleiman from Kano, returns as North West rep; Segun Famuyiwa, member and South West rep; Ejike Paul Medus, member and South East rep; Stanley Gumut, member and Athletes rep.

Also elected is Mrs Margaret Porbeni, member and NAWIS (Women in sports) rep. Scott Nnaji, member and coaches rep, Tunde Popoola, member and referees rep, Pastor Scambo Morrison, member and Technical Commissioners rep.
According to the Chairman of the Electoral Panel, Kennedy Osunwa, no election was done for the South South zonal rep. A bye-election is expected to be conducted at a later date.