The dust is yet to settle on the new electoral guidelines released by the Nigerian Federal Ministry of Sports for the purpose of conducting elections into its various associations.
The Nigeria Olympic Committee, NOC, has kicked against the guidelines after its executive committee met on Wednesday.
The NOC called for harmonisation of the guidelines in line with international best practices.
The body argued that the essence of this harmonious guideline is to ensure that it conforms with the Charter of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the constitutions of the various international sports federations.
According to the Secretary General of NOC, Tunde Popoola, who briefed the media after the meeting, “the issue of ‘eligibility’ as contained in the Ministry’s guideline does not in any way conform to the provision of the IOC Charter and constitutions of the international federations.
“That provisions in the guidelines which forbid Nigerians who are members of Executive Committees of their respective international federation from holding offices in their respective national federations locally will inhibit opportunities of getting more Nigerians into positions in the long run,” he argued.
The NOC scribe also picked some holes in the composition of the Appeals Committee, which he said was a crowd of appointees of the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports, with only one NOC member.
According to him, it is not in accord with the principle of fair hearing. We (NOC) recommend that a team of independent persons be appointed as members of the committee for fair hearing,” he explained.
Popoola also narrated how the Olympic body has tried to maintain good relationship with the sports ministry, noting that the Godwin Kienka’s Reforms Committee made use of the NOC boardroom for most of its meetings with inputs from NOC but some individuals in the sports ministry for selfish interest threw everything over board.
“We are the direct descendant of IOC in Nigeria operating within this territorial water and established to coordinate the affairs of the federations just as the each sporting federation relates with the international bodies.
“It is time to correct most of the anomalies that are associated with the composition of boards of the federations. We are ready to thread path of dialogue and will appreciate if the sports ministry can allow everybody to operate within norms as approved by IOC and not manipulation of the compositions of the respective boards of the sports federations,” he remarked.
Last week, the Sports Ministry released the guidelines with too many contentious issues in the area of eligibility.
The guideline disqualified candidates that have spent more than two terms and as well as banning presidents that are currently serving in the executive committees of their respective continental/international federations.