By Dorcas Jonah
The guidelines for the 2017 elections into National Sports Federations have been amended.
The new guidelines were announced in a statement signed by Nneka Ikem-Anibeze, special assistant media to Minister of Youth and Sports, Solomon Dalung.
The amendments were arrived at a meeting of the Ministry, Nigeria Olympic Committee (NOC) and some Federations.
Dalung, who presided over the meeting, said the tenure of Presidents of National Federations has now been extended to 12 years as against the earlier proposed two terms of four years each.
According to him, this means a federation’s President can now spend 12 years in office and statue barred to seek for reelection after the third term.
He said that Presidents of International Federations would not be eligible to contest for the presidency of National Federations as against Presidents and Vice Presidents stated in the earlier drafted guidelines.
Dalung, also constituted a seven man electoral appeals committee to consider and decide on appeals and petitions that may arise from the elections.
He said the committee would be chaired by the Acting Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Alhaji AbdulRazak Salau.
Other members include a representative of the Nigeria Olympic Committee, Aminu K. Idris, Director at the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Col. Maharaja Mahmoud (rtd).
Others are, a former Executive Secretary of the National Sports Commission, Chairman of State Directors of Sports Forum, Tunde Kazeem and the Legal Adviser, Mrs Carol Ojukwu as Secretary.
Dalung said the Committee would be inaugurated before the election.
Meanwhile, the Zonal and National elections would now hold on the same day in Abuja.
He said a congress would hold to enable delegates to vote for the zonal contestants in the morning while National Federations’ election would hold later on the same day.
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 of some of the guidelines after wide consultations with stakeholders in the industry to conform with the International Olympic Committee charter and International best practices.
“In our resolve to produce a 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” Dalung stated.