By Ijeoma Okigbo
The Federal Ministry of Sports and Youth Development (FMSYD) has set up a five-man “independent committee” to review the final medals table of the 21st National Sports Festival (NSF).
Ismaila Abubakar, the Ministry’s Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, disclosed on Sunday in a statement that the committee has seven days to complete its assignment.
“The FMSYD has received complaints about the final medals table of the 21st NSF held in Asaba from Nov. 28 to Dec. 10.
“After an initial review was done, the Ministry has decided to take a further step of setting up an independent committee to immediately do a further review.
“This process is normal in situations such as this, in order to ascertain whatever the challenges were with the Festival Medals Table computation.
“It is also normal to have them resolved even after the Festival,” Abubakar noted.
The Permanent Secretary disclosed that the committee was made up of experts who had managed the technical arm of previous NSFs.
“They are: Hauwa-Kulu Akinyemi, Madaki Elias Gora, Brig.-Gen. Emmanuel Okaro who will serve as Chairman, and Lekan Alabi, the Ministry’s Statistician who will be the Committee Secretary.
“They will be joined by a representative of the Delta State Sports Commission.”
He added that the Committee was expected to, among other things, determine what went wrong with the medals table computation from the stand point of knowledge and experience of previous festivals.
“It is also to establish the exact and correct medals table by ridding the table of any double entry and inaccuracies and make recommendations to guide against future occurrence”, Abubakar noted.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that hosts Delta were declared winners of the 21st NSF on Dec. 10 with 320 gold, 200 silver and 128 bronze medals.
But that total haul of 648 medals was an unprecedented haul and very well far ahead of that of second-placed Bayelsa.
Bayelsa had 132 gold, 115 silver and 90 bronze medals for a total of 337, while 2020 NSF runners-up Edo had 78 gold, 94 silver and 167 bronze medals for a total of 339.
This raised several eyebrows, even though many state sports officials were reluctant to speak on this, especially in view of Delta’s intimidating dominance of the Festival. (NAN)(www.nannews.ng)
Edited by Olawale Alabi