Winners emerge in Nigeria’s National Sports Federation elections

By Lekan Sowande, Abuja

Despite allegations and counter allegations by aggrieved contestants, the Nigeria’s Sports Federations elections held on Tuesday in Abuja and has produced winners.
While some of the winners were predictable long before the poll, there were some elements of surprise elsewhere just as some returned unopposed.
Nasarawa State Deputy Governor, Silas Agara, was voted in as the new President of the Karate Federation of Nigeria, while Dayo Akindoju emerged as President Tennis Federation of Nigeria.
Agara thanked God for his election and promised to take Karate to a greater height.
“I thanked the Ministry for providing a level playing ground for all the contestants.

We have seen the level of organisation, it has ushered in a new dawn, I feel challenged, grateful to God almighty for providing another platform for us to help move sports to new level. In the next few weeks, we will begin to implement our programmes to ensure that we put Karate on the map. We are working toward the Olympics, to ensure that we have quality representation in the next Olympics”. He said.
Senator Abdul Ningi emerged President of Nigerian Hockey Federation, while Festus Porgbeni returned unopposed as President of the Rowing, Sailing and Canoeing Federation.
Yahaya Ukwenya, Chairman of Kaduna State Cricket Association, emerged as new Nigerian Cricket Federation President.
In the Athletics Federation of Nigeria, AFN, Shehu Gusau was elected as President of the Federation after defeating Mary Collins.
In his acceptance speech, Gusau said he would work to promote the athletics sport from the grassroots.
“We will take Nigerian athletics to the level of competing with the world. We will start the work from the grassroots. That is one of the ways we can promote the game in the country,’’ he said.
In the Nigeria Wrestling Federation Presidency elections, the incumbent, Daniel Igali, secured a fresh four-year term as he beat his challenger, Austin Edeze.
After his victory, Igali thanked everyone who supported his cause, and promised to build on the gains recorded during his first term in office.
“To God be the glory. Thanks to the Minister of Sports for gradually democratizing the sports federation elections. I look forward to your support to re-position Nigeria Wrestling for the next four years.” He said.
Elsewhere, Hassan Haruna emerged the President of the Darts Federation, while Badminton is now to be headed by Oby Frank.
The bid by Dauda Yusuf to return as President of the Handball Federation met a setback as he was defeated by Sam Ocheno.
Table Tennis also has a new president in Tikon Ishiaku.
Other Presidential candidates that were successful include, Olagunsoye Oyinlola (Golf), Samuel Ocheho (Handball), Mohammed Yahaya (Weightlifting), Prince Timothy Nsirim (Judo), Musa Kida (Basketball).
Despite the emergence of those candidates, some aggrieved delegates, especially in the Athletics Federation, Taekwondo and Hockey said they may appeal the outcome of the elections.
Brown Ebewele who said he won an election as the technical director into the AFN board last month protested his replacement with Gath Onumegbu, who finished second behind him.
According to him; “My grouse is that I participated in an election and won with 31 votes and one other person who participated and finished second is now cleared as delegate for the election”.
Also former female athlete, Charity Opara, who said she was not only denied voting right but also matched out of the voting arena by security agent.
Teakwondo Federation was equally enmeshed in crisis when a South East delegate, Ferguson Oluigbo, who was earlier screened, cleared and given delegates tag to vote, was later told that some of his credentials were missing in the documents he submitted.
With some areas rowdy during the poll, the security agents still gave protection to the electoral officer as they compiled the overall result.
The newly elected member of the Federations will soon be inaugurated by the Minister of Youth and Sports, Solomon Dalung.



Aisha JM