*Hails Dalung for sticking with Reform prescriptions
By Oluwole Francis
Chairman of the Solomon Dalung Ministerial sports reform committee, Godwin Kienka, has disclosed how a cabal in the ministry worked hard to ensure he was excluded from the electoral process.
According to a statement he issued, Godwin Kienka wrote, “my contrived exclusion from contesting the presidency of the Nigeria Tennis Federation (NTF) by the cabal in the sports ministry and outside of it who were fighting to nullify the reforms up to the day of the elections, is a very small prize to pay for the ongoing reforms.
“The cabal asked the NTF Electoral Officers to insist that candidates for Vice President and President could only come from the 13 members of the board made up zonal reps and institutional reps when there was no such provision in the guidelines.”
Kienka added that the Hon. Minister of Sports, Solomon Dalung, had taken pains to explain at the inauguration of the Electoral Committees and given clear directives that all those who met the deadline and requirements must be allowed to contest.
“Proof that I was pointedly targeted, because they were smarting from the reforms, was that Mary Onyali with no constituency was allowed to vote and be voted for in Athletics while I was accredited as a delegate, allowed to vote but not qualified to be voted for. Strange?
In his reaction, he said that, “honestly, that was a small prize to pay for spearheading the reforms which has, by God’s special grace, come to stay.
“The expansion of the electoral college to State Associations; the institution of term limits; making the contest for positions of Vice President and President open to all who met the criteria and the exclusion of Ministry of Youth and Sports Development staff from being on the board of Federations are major reforms which in two or three more election circles will install very credible, passionate and business savvy individuals to run the Federations.
“There may have been hiccups and creases in the process this time but these were largely due to the “stress and distractions” from the cabal in and outside the Sports Ministry who were fighting and sabotaging the reforms until the last day.
“I am sure that by the next election in four years, most of the issues that arose at this election would have been tidied up and all requirements, process and eligibility questions clearly stated and answered.
“Kudos to Dalung for seeing this through despite threats, pressures, propaganda and inducements. Our sporting youth would definitely be better for it,” wrote Mr. Godwin Kienka.