Habu Gumel, Nigeria’s representative at the International Olympic Committee, has been re-elected the Treasurer-General of the Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa.
Gumel’s re-election was at ANOCA’s 15th Ordinary Elective General Assembly on Friday in Abidjan, Cote D’Ivoire, with 53 member-nations present.
Gumel, regarded as “Nigeria’s Ambassador” to the IOC, was returned unopposed after two other candidates from Mali and Botswana pulled out of the election.
Habbib Sissoko of Mali and Negroes Malealea Kgosietsile of Botswana had written letters of withdrawal to the African Olympic body that they were standing down for “a worthy candidate”.
ANOCA’s close sources, however, told NAN at the assembly that the two candidates had earlier filed their nominations papers after they had been misinformed that Nigeria was no longer interested in the position.
Gumel, who stoutly denied the allegation, also put up a strong case to convince the electorate.
He was later, during the plenary session, declared fully qualified for the election after his past expenditures and the budget were passed.
An elated Gumel told NAN that he was happy to have won, saying that his immediate tasks would be the early completion of the ANOCA permanent secretariat at Abuja.
He said: “My immediate task on returning to Nigeria is to ensure the full completion of the ANOCA building in Abuja, so that ANOCA can settle in Nigeria.
“This is part of the Memorandum of Understanding signed between the Federal Government of Nigeria and ANOCA.
“As a member of the executive committee, I will work hard to accomplish this task.
“I also want to help my country to develop the youth programme through ANOCA.
“This is possible with cooperation with the National Sports Commission.”
Meanwhile, Ivorian General Lassana Palenfo was also re-elected the President of the body, after being returned unopposed.
Zimbabwean Tommy Sithole defeated incumbent, Egyptian Khaled Zein Eldin, for the post of the Secretary-General at 26-24 votes after both had earlier tied at 25-25, with two votes voided.
This is the second coming of Sithole, who had over the last 10 years, been the Director of Cooperation and Development at the IOC.
He was ANOCA’s secretary-general from 1997 to 2003 when he was appointed into office as IOC director in 2003.
He told NAN shortly after the election that his sojourn in the IOC was like getting back to a school.
“I have now graduated to come back to re-organise things at ANOCA. I have to put to use my years of experience in organising from the IOC,” Sithole said.
Algerian Mustapha Ibarraf, who defeated Aggrey Moussa Mahamat of Chad, 36-15, was elected the 1st Vice-President, while Dacosta Alegre Joao Manuel of Sao Tome and Principe, defeated South African Tubby Reddy, 36-14 for the 2nd Vice-President.
The position of the 3rd Vice-President went to Mauritian Hao Thy Voon Phippe Ha Shun, who defeated two others.
The position of the 4th Vice President, reserved only for women, went to the President, Lesotho Olympic Committee, Matlonhang Moliloa-Ramoqopo, after three balloting, to wrestle the post from four others.
The term of the newly-elected executive committee will run for four years from 2013 to 2016.
The assembly had since ended on Saturday.