Stakeholders In Doubt Of Sports Ministry’s Impartial Role, As Timetable For Federations’ Elections Released
Barely a few hours the custodian of sports in Nigeria, the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development released the timetable for the elections into the Boards of the sporting federations, some concerned stakeholders have picked some holes in the arrangement the ministry said it put in place for the polls.
In a press statement made available to P.M EXPRESS Tuesday evening, Sunday Dare-led sports ministry says nomination forms for the elections will be released on 15 September, with completed ones submitted two days later on 17 September.
The stakeholders wondered how the nomination forms for a national election that will involve people from the 36 states of the federation including the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja will be opened for sale 24 hours after its announcement, while the same forms are expected to be filled and submitted some 48 hours later.
“This is quite unfortunate and sad, that at every election into the boards of sporting federations in this country, we always have issues to contend with, with the ministry which supposes to be an observer and neutral arbiter playing roles that are questionable.
“There were lots of moves by this same ministry, but under different Minister of Sports during the last election, the same hidden agenda is coming to play again this time around. Why the rush and this short time?
“The sincerity of the ministry conducting a free and fair election is being suspected with this timetable released today, and more importantly where is the guideline of the election which they want me to pick a nomination form for?” said one of the stakeholders from the northern part of the country, who craved anonymity for fear of being victimised by top officials of the ministry.
The timetable made public on Tuesday also says the election of all representatives from constituencies, except zonal ones, are expected to be concluded on 21 September closely followed by the zonal representatives’ election on 22 September.
Aggrieved contestants will have the opportunity to have their appeal heard on 25 September, while bye-elections take place on 28 September.
The National Elections are scheduled to take place on 30 September at the Moshood Abiola National Stadium Abuja.
The hearing of any petition arising from the election will be on 4 October, while bye-elections take place on 6 October.
All duly elected boards of the Federations will be sworn in by the Honourable Minister of Youth and Sports Development Mr Sunday Dare in Abuja on 8 October 2021.
Meanwhile, all Caretaker Committees of the affected federations are expected to be dissolved a week before the election.