Jalingo 2022: Stakeholders clamour for change in NOC leadership

From right: President of Nigeria Olympics Committe Engr. Habu Gumel receiving Queens Baton Relay from Queens delegate for onward handover to Minister of Youth and Sports development Sunday Dare who will then handover to President Muhammadu Buhari

Ahead of the elective congress of the Nigeria Olympic Committee, NOC slated for December 15, 2022, in Jalingo, Taraba State, some concerned stakeholders have began clamouring for a transformational change in the leadership of the NOC.

Many of the stakeholders are concerned about the comatose state of the NOC and strongly want a positive and proactive leadership for the body, while the incumbent President Engr. Habu Gumel has not officially declared his intentions to seek reelection for a fifth tenure.

Gumel was first elected as NOC president in 2002 and led until 2012. He made a return as president in 2014 and still runs the affairs of the NOC, till date. 

The stakeholders are miffed that Gumel has no voting powers in the International Olympic Committee, as he is 74 years old, way beyond the required age. Presently, he is a honourary member of the IOC, contrary to the needs of the NOC and Nigerian sports. 

According to the stakeholders, many who craved anonymity, in the past 8 years of his presidency, Nigeria has remained a docile member of the IOC. One of the major concerns of the stakeholders, is that Gumel might make a last ditch and desperate attempts to retain his position or throw his support behind any of his co-travellers. 

Popular sports activist and national coordinator of Friends of Nigeria Sports, Chief Dipreiye Thompson, was quick to note that, “Gumel’s leadership of the NOC, has brought nothing but retrogression and problems to sports federations in Nigeria”.

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