Nigeria’s renewed efforts to get results at global sports competitions kicked off Thursday with elections into the various national sports federations with several incumbents winning reelections for second and third term respectively.
While the former deputy governor of Nasarawa State, Silas Agara and Giandomenico Massari were re-elected unopposed as president of Karate Federation of Nigeria (KFN) and Cycling Federation of Nigeria (CFN) respectively, Samuel Ocheho had to dig deep to win his second term as the president of the Handball Federation of Nigeria (HFN).
Ocheho defeated Jibrin Saidu, president of MEGA Handball Veteran, with 7-6 votes in a keenly contested election to lead the federation for another 4 years.
Hon. Daniel Igali was also given another four year tenure for the third term to lead the Nigeria Wrestling Federation (NWF) as president following his impressive performance in the federation.
Speaking after his reelection, former Nasarawa State deputy governor said his vision was to ensure grassroots development and international exposure for karate athletes, coaches and officials.
He said the board would immediately swing into action to map out strategies for the organisation of grassroots competitions in the six geo-political zones of the country.
“I want to assure Nigerians that we’ll do our best in the next four years to reposition karate effectively in the country.
“We will ensure that we make karate more popular in all the six geo-political political zones of the country through quality championships.
“As for preparations for the next Olympics, I can tell you we would have made the last Olympics but we were affected by the Ministry’s quota,” Agara said.
The DG of the National Council for Arts and Culture (NCAC), Otunba Segun Runsewe, would lead the Nigeria Golf Federation (NGF) for the next four years after he was elected unopposed, just as the former director of grassroots development, Ministry of Youth and Sports, Dr Ademola Are was given the mandate to lead the Rugby Federation of Nigeria (RFN).
Engineer Musa Nimrod also won his reelection in a landslide victory after scoring 11 votes to defeat his main rival and erstwhile DG of the defunct National Sports Commission, Alhassan Yakmut, who scored just two votes.
Commander Olatunji Bamidele Ayoade defeated former president of the Nigeria Shooting Federation (NSSF), Brigadier General Longsdale Adeoye (retired) to emerge new president of the federation.
Chairman of the Sports Federations Electoral Committees, Peter Nelson, described the election as free and fair adding that the little hitches were resolved by all the stakeholders.
“We were satisfied with the outcome of the election, the wouldn’t hold the Badminton Federation election due to the court order, but immediately after we get the clearance will hold the election” he said.