A disenfranchised candidate from last Tuesday’s elections into the board of National Sports Federation, Olukayode Thomas, over the weekend, accused the Minister of Sports, Solomon Dalung, of manipulating the process to favour his cronies.

Thomas, who contested for the position of President of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN), said Dalung not only assembled a biased electoral organizing team, he also changed the delegates’ list.

“As of 11.30pm on Monday night, I was cleared to contest the election by officials of the Federal Ministry of Sports that was to supervise the election. It was my greatest shock on Election Day to see the name of Gloria Obajimi on the delegates’ list.

“Obajimi did not contest the NAWIS election, Rosa Collins did and won. How come Obajimi, who was in the United States when the election was conducted, has become the NAWIS representative?

“I was equally shocked to see that Gad Onamugbu who did not contest the coaches’ election was the delegate for coaches. More shocking was the name of Hammed Adio as representative of sponsors, philanthropist and ex-official. Adio has had no business with athletics for the last 15 years.

“Long before the elections, SolidWorks, the sponsor of AFN Golden League and other activities had been given a letter as the representative of sponsor on the board. Even if there will be a change, why not have elections among the sponsors and let Adio contest? Why that choice in a field that is full of better qualified individuals and cooperate bodies?”

Thomas said he could not believe that Fidelis Gadzama who is not resident in Nigeria, does not work in Nigeria and does not pay tax in Nigeria is given clearance to contest while Haruna Bako and Titus Ayodele were not cleared to contest.