2022 NOC Congress: X-raying Engr Habu Gumel’s Achievements Detractors Refused To Admit

2022 NOC Congress: X-raying Engr Habu Gumel’s Achievements Detractors Refused To Admit

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By Concerned Stakeholders.

The 2022 Nigeria Olympic Committee, NOC congress billed for Jalingo, Taraba state will hold this month. As usual, permutations are rife as per the eventual outcome of the convergence of stakeholders who elect a new executive board after every four years.

Some of the progressives amongst the stakeholders believe in continuity of positive dividends to the nation’s sporting community, and are poised, as always to defend their belief not just by their votes, but also by their interactions, contributions and actions for the betterment of the industry in Nigeria.
Amongst the stakeholders also, are some who will stop at nothing to derail the course of progress and growth of the industry for their personal interests, and deny the nation of immense sporting fortunes.

This group of members have been at war with themselves over the forthcoming congress.
They are united under one mission, which is to unseat Engr Habu Ahmed Gumel as the president of the committee.

This group has gone to town, albeit lately, with campaigns of calumny to smear the hard-earned reputation of the incumbent president who is seeking re-election. Friends in the day and enemies at night, they have cooked up fallacies to stir division among stakeholders in their hateful and blinded desire to tarnish a man whom God has bestowed with sterling leadership qualities and remarkable achievements in different endeavours of life including sports.

NOC President, Engr Habu Gumel (right) midwived the establishment of Teqball Federation of Nigeria, NigTeq. With him is former President of NigTeq, Dr Ibrahim Abdul and the founding General Secretary, Ndudi Bede at the training of Teqball coaches and referees in about early 2021

The traitors and betrayers all of whom have roundly failed to advance the course of their respective sporting constituencies, have gathered again in pursuit of shadows. As if their individual and collective devilish plots are not enough, this cowardly and faceless group have taken their campaign to the media, disguising as ‘United Sports Stakeholders’, to cast unnecessary aspersions on Engr Habu Gumel.

Their sponsored article published on various online outlets on December 4, 2022, remains the height of their mischief and desperation. The article urges Engr Gumel to shelve his ambition of re-election as president of NOC, citing complacency, reprehensible laxity, lack of transparency, corruption and age as reasons.

While the group reserves the right or privilege to make such a call, it is pertinent to remind it that it could also go ahead and substantiate their accusations.
For starters, the corruption allegations on Engr Gumel alongside Mustapha Berraf, President of Association of Olympic Committees of Africa, ANOCA is unfounded.

On that, the accusers are merely bidding time and they know it. They claim both administrators are facing corruption charges, a claim both deny. For God’s sake, we are not existing in a vacuum. When and where under the earth have Gumel and Berraf been drafted to answer to such charges? Today, against all odds, ANOCA headquarters is domiciled in Abuja, Nigeria. How could that and other milestones ever be achieved by a corrupt duo? Transparency has been Engr Gumel’s watchword in his years of service both as government functionary and sports administrator.

Records are there to speak for him from his days as a corper at Yankari Games Reserve to Executive Secretary, National Lottery Trust Fund and from his days as Chairman and board member of Nigeria Volleyball Federation till date in the International Olympic Committee, IOC.

Secondly, while the detractors were quick to refer to Rule 16.3.3.1 of the Olympic charter, to discredit Engr Gumel on the basis of age, they forgot that the gentleman turned honourary member in 2020, knowing fully well the rules of engagements, and therefore stands eligible for re-election. By his status, Nigeria has not lost her congress membership in the International Olympic Committee, IOC as the group would want us to believe. There’s no point misleading the public with falsehood.

Thirdly, this faceless group claims that complacency and reprehensible laxity on the part of Engr Gumel has grounded sports in Nigeria over the past 16 years. What a barefaced lie? Today, the world over, sports cannot be successfully discussed in all ramifications without the mention of Nigeria. In the years under review, Nigeria sports soared higher than anticipated even in the face of obvious challenges.

It is heart-rending to note that members of this antagonistic group are stakeholders who should know the workings of the sector. Need we go further on this? Anybody who understands sports administration knows the roles of a national Olympic Committee as an affiliate of the International Olympic Committee, IOC. Under Engr Gumel the Olympic movement has thrived in Nigeria with the nation keying into its various programmes and deriving the benefits therefrom just like other affiliated nations.

NOC President, Engr Habu Gumel at a function recently

In any case, describing Engr Gumel’s re-election bid as ‘despicable’ according to the group, is to say the least, outrageous.
Who really is afraid of Engr Habu Ahmed Gumel, the quintessential sports administrator?

What is despicable about a quality leader desiring to entrench a legacy of selfless service for lasting achievements in his chosen field or career?

This piece is not intended to reel out the litany of Engr Habu Gumel’s achievements for Nigeria sports so far over time, for they are just too many. That will be a discussion for another day. But if we must recall, Engr Habu Gumel’s sojourn to sports administration from 1988 to his meteoric rise in the sector has been due to sheer hardwork, dedication and transparency culminating in top-notch experience that reverberates across his lines of duty.

Suffice it to say that we are speaking about a gentleman whose leadership qualities over the years have attracted series of national and international recognitions including National honour of the Order of the Niger, OON. He was one-time President of Nigeria Society of Engineers(NSE) from 2000 to 2001, President of The Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN) from 2004 to 2010.

Engr Gumel holds the Fellowships of the Nigeria Society of Engineers FNSE and Nigeria Institute of Management FNIM. In July 2022, he was awarded Japan’s highest order of the ‘Rising Sun, Gold Rays With Blue Ribbon’ , by His Majesty Naruhito, an honour we can bet that none of the members of the group antagonising him ahead of the congress in Jalingo would ever receive in their lifetime.
From engineering to sports administration, Engr Gumel has excelled and still counting. He is young at heart, vibrant, dynamic, result-oriented and focused.

No wonder his breathe of fresh air continually keeps NOC as a closely-knit family in team work and achieving positive results for the nation over these years. It is a pact that must be sustained under Engr Gumel’s watch for the next four years at least.

Perhaps, what is indeed ‘despicable’, is the wicked plot by some unscrupulous elements within and around NOC to cow Engr Gumel into jettisoning his re-election bid as president, so that the sustained rise of Nigeria in both national and global sports will be truncated. May God forbid.

Those of us who know the truth and stand by it are urging Engr Habu Gumel to ignore the shenanigans and concentrate on achieving victory in Jalingo come December 15, 2022, Insha Allah.

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