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Re-elected ATF vice president, Nnaji, thanks Elegbeleye for support

Published by Guardian on Mon, 16 Sep 2013

NIGERIA Taekwondo Federation's former President, Jonathan Nnaji, who was recently re-elected as the vice president of the African Taekwondo Federation, has hailed National Sports Commission's (NSC) Director General, Gbenga Elegbeleye, for coming to his aid when he faced difficulties at the polls. Nnaji, who expressed his shock at the disposition of the Nigeria Taekwondo Federation to his re-election bid, told The Guardian on Thursday that the NSC chief played a vital role in his success. 'Before I left for Egypt for the election Elegbeleye prayed for me and urged me to ensure I returned to Nigeria with the position. He was happy that a Nigerian would be in the continental body, so he told me that I should not allow those small countries to take the position from us,' Nnaji said. He, however, expressed his displeasure at the attitude of the Taekwondo Federation, saying he was shocked when he learnt that the Nigeria Taekwondo Federation sent a letter of proxy to an Egyptian and a Ugandan asking them to vote for any member of their choice in a poll a Nigerian was a candidate. 'I told NTK President, George Ashiru, that I was going for the election and he wished me well before I left. I was shocked when other officials asked if truly I was a Nigerian when proxy letters from Nigeria were upheld for them to vote for any candidate of their choice. I thank God that I was re-elected but the shock still remains because I served as President of Nigerian Taekwondo Federation for eight years,' he said. Defending the Nigeria Taekwondo Federation's action at the polls, Ashiru accepted that Nnaji informally told him of his bid for re-election, adding, however, that it was done through the proper channel.He explained that he could not go for the elections in Egypt because of the visit of the Kukkiwon Demonstration team in Nigeria and the Korean Ambassador Championships, which coincided with the election date. According to Ashiru: 'Nnaji told me informally but did not make it official by writing. He sought financial help from the NSCand they told him he should route his request through his Federation. He did not.
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