*Demands reversal of dissolution of federations
*Misled by desperate sacked federation bosses
By Olajide Fashikun
Nigeria’s Green chambers, the House of Representatives, may have gone mad again with their demand that the ministry of youths and sports development should recall all members of the boards of the 42 sports federations that were recently dissolved.
The House also called on the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports to postpone the planned elections into the boards of the national sports federations.
Adopting a motion by member of the House of Representatives, Ayodeji Adebayo Joseph, the Green Chamber mandated her committee on sports to investigate the role of the ministry in interfering and issuing the guidelines for elections into the sports federations.
The committee was further mandated to investigate the sports minister, Barrister Solomon Dalung, to ascertain the status of all funds allocated to the various sports federations in the last two years. The committee has three weeks to report back to the House on its findings.
Leading the debate on the motion, Representative Adebayo said the sports ministry recently dissolved the boards of the various national sports federations and issued guidelines for the quadrennial elections into the federations.
He said based on the guidelines, prospective candidates who had spent two terms of four years each would not be eligible to contest elections into the sports federations.
He noted that the national federation is part of the Olympic Movement, which has its own code and governance ethics and its supreme instrument is the Olympic Charter.
Contributing to the debate, Representative Ayo Omidiran, said dissolving the various federations was an act of impunity, which should not be allowed to stand.
“These federations have their heads elected to spend specific tenure in line with provisions of their constitution and if only the constitutions are followed to the letter, then we will not have issues, but for a minister to just sit and say all the boards stand dissolved is to say the constitutions don’t matter,” she said.
This Rep who has been a part of the sports industry expressed a deep ignorance of the operations between the National Federations and the Olympic movement. Her argument runs on the same col which the Secretary General of the NOC, Tunde Popoola had argued in the last couple of days.
However, on his part, Representative Edward Pwajok said allowing the minister’s decision to stand could earn Nigeria sanctions from the International Olympics Committee (IOC).
One wonders which IOC he is referring to given the fact that the IOC cannot interfere in the development of the national affiliates or the democratic processes of their governance structures.
He spurted on the floor of parliament: “this is an issue of both national and international interest. We all know too well that the International Olympics Committee has so many responsibilities on Olympics matters. We should pass this resolution to avoid sanctions from the IOC,” he said.
Our investigations showed that some of the desperate members of the dissolved sports federations who had sworn that they would upturn all the decisions of the Minister would have employed the services of their friends in the House of Representatives who all went to the floor of the parliament and ran the scripts prepared by the NOC chieftains to paint the minister red to hang him.
Certainly, the members of the Nigerian House of Representatives did not realise that the issue they brought to debate is not within their oversight function and they did not state what grounds informed why and how they come debating an action that ordinarily is within the exclusive preserve of the minister and the ministry.