By Dorcas Jonah
The Ministry of Youth and Sports on Friday announced the dissolution of boards of National Sports Federations in preparation for the election of new board members.
Mr. Solomon Dalung, Minister of Youth and Sports, made the announcement in a statement signed by Nneka Anibeze, Special Assistant on Media to the Minister.
Dalung directed all Secretaries of the federation to take charge of their various Federations during the election process.
He said the dissolution which was one of the milestones of the existing State of Emergency in the Sector was to ensure the credibility of the upcoming electoral process.
He said some Federations have started seeking a six month tenure extension.
“In line with the Olympic Charter, all National Sports Federations are to serve for a period of 4 years.
“The federations were inaugurated in May 2013, and by tradition, federations are dissolved after every Olympic Games. Therefore, their tenure has now come to an end.
“To ensure a level playing ground and free and fair elections, where everyone will be given equal opportunity, the National Sports Federations are hereby dissolved from May 5.
“Secretaries are to take charge and run the affairs of their various federations during the process of the elections.
“The election date has also been extended to June 13, while every other programme for the electoral process will be adjusted to fit into the new election date.
“Further announcement on the new time table will be released in due course,” he said.
Dalung recalled that a year ago, he called for the constitutions of all sports federations but only five complied till date.
He stated that ahead of the forthcoming elections, guidelines were approved by stakeholders and a process was put in place.
He expressed his commitment to a successful transition process of democratizing the National Sports Federations and producing credible leadership.
Dalung said to this effect, the Ministry and the Nigeria Olympic Committee (NOC) would facilitate the electoral process.
“As part of our commitment to a free and fair process, the Ministry requested the National Sports Federations to submit copies of their constitutions.
“Unfortunately, as at today, only five federations complied. This leaves the Ministry and the NOC with no other option than to organize the elections based strictly on the guidelines.
“Federations that will be exempted are those that submitted their constitutions and there are certain requirements of notice, of which in the spirit of free and fair elections will be exempted,”
Dalung also directed the Ministry to consult widely with the NOC and recommend three credible names to constitute the electoral committee for scrutiny, confirmation and subsequent inauguration.
He noted that the process of democratizing the National Sports Federations was not free from challenges and stressed the Ministry’s determination to deliver on its commitment.
“We shall make amendments and moderations of the transition programme as we progress and if the occasion demands. However, the election is the only thing that is sacrosanct.” (NAN)