Protest on Monday trailed the list of stakeholders released by the National Sports Commission (NSC) for the May 14 Sports Federation election scheduled to take place in Abuja.
An investigation shows that the names of some qualified candidates were substituted with those of unqualified candidates, barely 24 hours to the election.
The worst hits were candidates from the Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF).
Col. Samuel Ahmedu, a candidate representing the Federation of International Basketball Association (FIBA) said his name was substituted with that of Patrick Omorodion, a journalist.
According to Ahmedu, the NSC is meddling with the names of the five stakeholders designated to join the six members elected from the zones for the election.
He noted that his case was one out of the numerous complaints received from other sports federations.
Ahmedu said the guideline did not give room for the import of candidates where the federation had two international representatives with three years experience.
“They threw my name out and replaced it with that of Patrick Omorodion.
“What does Omorodion know about basketball? They are now trying to hide under the provision which states that more stakeholders can come if there are no international people.
“But we have international people, so, where does his name come from?
“The whole idea is to create votes for some candidates because after the elections were done in the six zones, four of the five people that emerged said they don’t want the current president.
“The current NBBF president also emerged from his zone which means that he has only one person to his side.
“So, they have to balance it up to give him votes. In essence this is no longer an election, it is a selection.
“Why did they waste our time going to publish guidelines? The NSC would have handpicked people they want to go to the federation,’’ Ahmedu said.
He alleged that the name of DCP Moses Jitoboh, the Chief Security Officer of President Goodluck Jonathan was moved to the Chess Federation from basketball just to destabilise the plans of those who wanted to oust the incumbent president.
He also alleged that the NSC was trying to frustrate those with genuine intention to move the sports forward in the country.
“The Nigeria Police recommended Jitoboh to serve on the board of Basketball Federation as a stakeholder representing the police.
“Jitoboh is the Head of Security to the President and the President of the Bayelsa Basketball Federation, as well as the Chairman, Nigeria Police Basketball Association. He is also a member of the current board.
“He has nothing to do with chess. His name was not entirely removed in order not to offend him and those in the corridors of power.
“Besides, the NSC chose to publish the names on its Website, which most people don’t know.
“If you publish the guidelines in national newspapers, it is right that when you want to publish the name of stakeholders for the general election, it should also be in the national newspapers,’’ Ahmedu added.
e, however, vowed to take the matter up to international level, because the NSC had decided to set aside the letters sent by FIBA and NBBF, nominating him as a representative on the board.
The current NBBF President, Tijani Umar, will slug it out with Musa Khida in the May 14 election for the president.
Patrick Omorodion, Olumide Ayodeji, Coach Agboola, Pinheiro and Felix Awogu are the stakeholders listed for election on the board.
The six candidates that emerged from the zones are Osita Nwachukwu (South East), Babatunde Ogunade (South West), Igoche Mark (North Central) and Musa Khida (South South).
Others are Tijani Umar (North East) and Mustapha Abdulsalam (North West).
Meanwhile, efforts to get the Sports Minister, Malam Bolaji Abdullahi or any NSC official to react to the development proved abortive as none of them could be reached.
One of the minister’s aides said that the minister was not in town but refused to disclose whether he was within or outside the country.
The minister’s phone and that of his Special Assistant on Media, Julius Ogunro, were switched off.