New Telegraph

Elections: Stakeholders move to save soul of NOC

Stakeholders in the Olympics family are poised to effect a change in the leadership of the Nigeria Olympic Committee (NOC) as the elective Congress of the body takes place on December 15 in Jalingo, Taraba State.

The contestants for various positions are set to test their popularity at the polls and the general view is to effect a change in the NOC at the polls next month.

The current leadership of Engr Habu Gumel has been under fire over the declining fortunes of the NOC in recent years. “Gumel is a perfect gentleman and an astute civil engineer but he is not moving us forward and he has to move on and leave the administration of NOC for more vibrant young men in the industry. There is no sentiment about it, the NOC needs a change,” a stakeholder told our correspondent.

Another stakeholder, one of the former Presidents expected to vote at the December 15 elections, argued that the time for a change in the NOC is now. “Sports in modern times should be given to people with better vision and understanding of what obtains in the developed countries. Gumel has been the President of NOC for four terms which are about 16 years and that is already overkilled.

There is a need for a chance and we must achieve that in Jalingo,” he said. The guidelines for the elections have been released and the document underlines the intention to conduct a free, fair, and credible election.

The NOC supervises the sports federations in the country and is fully responsible for the coordination of Nigerian competitors at the Olympics, Commonwealth Games, and the All Africa Games.

Under the leadership of Habu Gumel, Nigeria lost its Congress membership with the International Olympic Committee (IOC). He attained membership of the IOC in 2009 and became ineligible to continue after clocking 70 years on April 1, 2019.

According to Rule of the Olympics Charter, any IOC member ceases to be a member at the end of the calendar year during which he reaches the age of 70.

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