The Minister of Sports and Chairman of the National Sports Commission, Bolaji Abdullahi, could not be reached to comment for this story. Calls to his telephone failed to connect as at the time of filing this report.
Those familiar with Nigeria’s golf politics said until he was barred from running in the election, Mr. Oyinlola was set to reemerge NGF president unopposed.
“I then called one of those in charge of the exercise who also told me he could not explain why I was barred from contesting. He said he would advise me not to show up at all. I called the minister but his line was switched off. That is it. It simply shows that the impunity we are talking about now knows no boundary.
The intractable crisis in the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) spread to the sports arena Tuesday with the National Sports Commission excluding the outgoing President of the Nigeria Golf Federation (NGF), Olagunsoye Oyinlola, from re-contesting for the post.
“I do not think we should drag our national politics into sports. It is not in the interest of anyone to do that. I love golf that is why I have been committing my time and resources to its development. This latest political action is very unfortunate but I bear no grudge against anyone, ” Mr. Oyinlola said.
The only other interested contestant is known to be his personal friend, Sam Iredia, who was unlikely to run against him.
Mr. Oyinlola, who is the National Secretary of the Abubakar Baraje faction of the PDP, told journalists Tuesday that his name was dropped from a list of contestants for the post at the last minutes allegedly based on ‘orders from above.’
“I was about driving to the election venue when I received a call from a key NGF player that my name had been removed as a candidate. I asked why, but he said he learnt it was on ‘orders from above’” Mr. Oyinlola said.
The election was conducted alongside those of other sports associations on Tuesday by the National Sports Commission.
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