Under watch, Nigeria elects new Olympic leader
LAGOS, Nigeria (AP)
The Nigerian Olympic Committee elected a new president for the second time in a week in a sometimes chaotic meeting, after the first result wasn't recognized by the IOC.
Former Sports Minister Sani Ndanusa was appointed Thursday after former President Habu Gumel chose not to stand in the election. Delegates had already voted Ndanusa in as president Sept. 16, but the International Olympic Committee said the result wasn't valid.
This time, Algerian IOC official Mustapha Berraf witnessed the election and said he was satisfied with the result. Ndanusa was unopposed after a closed-door deal between himself, Gumel and current Sports Minister Ibrahim Bio left him as the only candidate.
''We have resolved all our issues,'' Gumel told Bio during the meeting. ''We are going to work together hand in hand.''
At the start of the meeting, delegates shouted over how the election should be held, as workers moved around empty ballot boxes under the watch of Kalashnikov-carrying policemen.
But before anyone cast a ballot, potential candidates immediately began to bow out of the race - initially leaving Gumel as the only rival. When Gumel announced he would also withdraw his name from consideration, it led to cheers and bows by Ndanusa to those attending the public hearing.
The fight over the Olympic committee is just the latest sports row in the nation of 150 million people. Four former leaders of Nigeria's soccer federation face corruption charges after allegedly embezzling money from the team's World Cup funds.
Nigeria had a disappointing World Cup campaign, causing President Goodluck Jonathan to threaten to suspend the federation. Jonathan backed down from the threat after FIFA warned it would sanction the country.