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Abuja elections fraudulent

Posted by By Onochie Anibeze on 2005/04/28 | Views: 302 |

Abuja elections fraudulent


Few hours after Nkoyo Ibori, wife of Delta State Governor, withdrew from the sports association elections in Abuja, Violet Odogwu-Nwajei a bronze medallist in the 1966 Commonwealth Games in Kingston, Jamaica emerged chairman of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria, AFN.

..as Ibori withdraws, Nwajei rules AFN

Few hours after Nkoyo Ibori, wife of Delta State Governor, withdrew from the sports association elections in Abuja, Violet Odogwu-Nwajei a bronze medallist in the 1966 Commonwealth Games in Kingston, Jamaica emerged chairman of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria, AFN.

Nwajei, a government candidate predictably garnered all the 11 votes. Governor Lucky Igbinedion, another government favourite beat George Tailor 7-4 to return to Boxing. So was Governor Orji Uzor Kalu who was almost edged out of Judo for the fear that he might become President of Nigeria Olympic Committee, NOC. The sports ministry which is very comfortable with the absolute loyalty of Alhaji Gumel moved to scheme out Kalu who could run an independent NOC that may not be taking directives from the ministry almost on a daily basis. But the matter was later resolved and Kalu retained the chairman of Judo Association. All the elections went the way the ministry wanted.

Commissioner of Sports in Delta State, Solomon Ogba condemned the undemocratic process while addressing the media on why Nkoyo Ibori who won zonal election into the Athletics Association and was on line for the presidency of the AFN until the rules introduced by the sports ministry compelled her to withdraw.

"The First Lady of Delta State has withdrawn from contesting the AFN election on the grounds that the election would not be free and fair," Ogba said few hours before the election. He also said that he gathered that the ministry top shots felt that athletics was important and should be run by who they can control. He continued:

"In the last meeting of National Council for Sports, it was agreed that all members of the sports associations must be elected. That was why Mrs Ibori agreed to contest at the zonal level after people put pressure on her to help athletics. But the sports ministry is not living up to the agreement. They changed everything to suit whoever they want to be chairman of any association. Some staff of the ministry who are conducting the elections are also seeking offices, so how can they be fair? Mrs Ibori was not happy with the way they twisted everything and decided to withdraw. She has also declined her nomination into Special Sports Association," Ogba said.

The ministry was sad these elections have been rigged. The rigging was done even before casting of votes. They did selection and not elections. Government Sports ministry selected six to seven people to go and vote with five others who won from the zones. So they have selected their people. I would not have complained if we the National Council of Sports did not rule that membership will now be by election to follow the footsteps of NFA," Ogba said before the elections yesterday.

Martin Osaile, a boxing promoter who observed the elections said that they were fraudulent.

"What the sports ministry has done is fraudulent and will never help our sports. Rather, they are destroying it," Osaile said.

But the election of Nwajei would be celebrated in many quarters. Athletes had once asked to be led by a former international athlete and they now have one in Nwajei who has also served the sport after her active days.

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Comments (2)

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Toluwalase Samuel Olufemi(Ijebu, Ogun, Nigeria)says...

Authority belongs to God, once He decrees it is final and binding

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Ikponmwosa Osamede(Edo, Nigeria)says...

Your meaning of Osamede is wrong. Osamede means God has given me a crown