The Minister for Youth and Sports, Solomon Dalung, has bowed to pressure having been greeted with criticisms in some quarters for his earlier stance on the upcoming sports federations elections.
A statement from the minister’s media aide, Nneka Anibeze, on Friday stated that the earlier guidelines for the 2017 elections into the National Sports Federations have been amended.
The statement pointed out that the tenure of presidents of national federations has now been extended to maximum12 years as against the earlier proposed two terms of 8 years.
“This is one of the decisions taken after a meeting of the Ministry of Youth and Sports, the Nigeria Olympic Committee and some Federations presided over today in Lagos by the Minister of Youth and Sports Barrister Solomon Dalung,” Mr. Anizebe said.
This means that a federation’s president can now spend 12 years in office and statute barred to seek for re-election after the 3 terms.
In addition, presidents of International Federations will not be eligible to contest for the presidency of National Federations as against presidents and vice presidents stated in the earlier drafted guidelines.
A seven-member electoral appeals committee has also been constituted to consider and decide on all appeals and petitions arising from the elections, if any.
The committee will be chaired by the Acting Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Youth and Sports, AbdulRazak Salau.
Other members include a representative of the Nigeria Olympic Committee, Aminu Idris; Director at the Independent National Electoral Commission INEC, Maharaja Mahmoud; Chairman of State Directors of Sports Forum, Tunde Kazeem; Emmanuel Zira; and the Legal Adviser of the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports, Carol Ojukwu who will serve as Secretary.
The committee will be inaugurated before the elections.
Meanwhile, the zonal and national elections will now hold on the same day in Abuja. A congress will enable delegates to vote for the zonal contestants in the morning while national federations’ election will take place later on the same day.
Speaking after the joint meeting of the NOC, the ministry and the federations, Mr. Dalung said that the guidelines were reviewed following wide consultations with sports stakeholders.
“We reviewed some provisions of the guidelines and we agreed that there was need for us to reach a consensus. We decided to make amendments to some of the guidelines after wide consultations with the stakeholders in the industry to conform with the International Olympic Committee charter and international best practices.
“In our resolve to produce democratically elected national federations, we met with the stakeholders to revisit and fine tune the guidelines.
“We have also put in place a check mechanism as the congress will now elect the presidents. We gave them that grace of a last chance to contest for three terms and that will be final.
“Only Presidents of International Federations will not be eligible to contest for the National Federations’ presidency. The Vice Presidents can contest.
“We also resolved that the NOC should be actively involved in driving the process and look at areas that can be adjusted in the interest of democracy,” Mr. Dalung concluded.