? By Dr. Rashid A. Balogun
Wisdom cannot be acquired by wealth not to talk about stolen wealth but is it wise to assume that certain group of people can never achieve greater (legitimate) heights in their lifetime? The other day this writer watched a family of geese in Toronto trying so hard to pass through a glass wall, thinking they can really pass, but the funny thing is that a little geese left the flock and followed an individual (a natural person) approaching the door and made it to the outside. This writer and his colleagues now observed the flock movement towards the door while the baby chick waited outside. Of course, the readers of this writing get the lesson from this story.
This writer audience wants an appraisal of the National Sports Commission (NSC) but his opinion cannot be offered without reference to cronies that such commission used to respond that failed to speak about sports rather grammar that they lacked the skills to understand. In fact, not once did such individuals challenged this writer on sports governance.
Animalistic metaphor seems to get the audience interested while the relevant agency?s leaders found themselves captive in reasoning after foolishly using an idiot known (refers to himself) as Tunde Akinlabi to defame this writer. Among other things the thug failed to realize that a writer?s audience determines his or her use of words (language) or colloquialism.
Furthermore, uneducated or educated fools parading themselves as so-called former athletes but were really cronies of Solomon Ogba, people like Enifiok Udo Obong and Gabriel Opuana also entered into such discussions, in fact one of them can?t even spell ?BAD? yet he was complaining of grammatical structure. To these people, this writer says it is not too late to return to adult education classes and this writer will fund them except for Tunde Akinlabi, that is a promise.
Nigeria?s athletes can rejoice that the so-called ?current? Sports Minister can no longer be fronting for Solomon Ogba or Sanni Ndanusa?s agenda which as of today can never advance Nigeria?s sports international standing. Political affiliation apart, whatever that is between the two of them will no longer see the light of the day ever again and this writer trust that the Presidency is now listening to Nigerians as all sports lovers are encouraged to continue to write the government about their concerns on the direction of sports in the country. The people rose up against a so-called code of conduct and useless bonus row forcing NSC to jettison those dictatorial plans.
The peoples? representatives (National Assembly) in fact surprised this writer with probes of NSC?s national stadium ?pitchgate? scandals as well as other observations by the legislators, but he is still baffled that federations were not probed despite tongue lashing of illegal football federation funding request debacle along with athletics federation grumbling over IAAF already paid world championships expenses. Prior years illegal funding of federations must be recovered as criminal acts are never statute of limitation barred. The people of NSC might have indoctrinated Mr. Elegbeleye, their Director General on how not to act on issues of substance because the whole country may disagree but to keep to the airwaves on inconsequential self-promotions.
Appraisal of the Sports Minister, Bolaji Abdullahi ? Fail
Now, when does it (mediocrity) end and when do we expect the new beginning, of course again, this writer is known to speak only on one concern but such writings mimics the entire country?s governing culture
Again, the Sports Minister is powerless and he disclosed such several times in the media, for example, he said Mr. The president has not instructed him to act on many things. The questions that ought to be asked are; (1) did the Minister receive a copy of his job description, (2) did the Minister have control over his staff which should have been within his job description, and (3) did the Minister receive a copy of the Federal Government agenda for sports which presupposes existence of such document because the media aide of the President kept saying ?transformation agenda? every time but the NSC actions never changed and the status quo remains as of today.
Essentially, the country is recycling bad decisions, for example the same folks that brought the country shame at London Olympics were returned to head sports federations again and the Sports Minister retained his position as grand master of useless programs. But this writer must acknowledge the fact that, if the Sports Minister Bolaji Abdullahi lacks substantive power to act freely like other Ministers then, the power vacuum in Sports Ministry can be said to be the real reason behind returning good for nothing people continue to destroy the country?s sports.
Now, to talk about real appraisal of Mr. Abdullahi since appointed as Minister, unfortunately, his media releases and actions simply caused peoples? negative reactions including this writer. At times he would raise people hope of change, for instance, the new direction of sports federation but when such affairs were to take place he went into hiding, using his media aide Mr. Julius Oguro to go back and use the old rule that he claimed was jettisoned three weeks earlier. As a result of such foolishness the same destroyers were returned as federations? leaders along with Mr. Abdullahi friends, some of whom were from his home state that has nothing to offer sports while others were imposed by him which can be assumed to have aided the return of sports destroyers. The athletes were never part of the process. There?s an old saying that sound like this, ?show me your friends and I will tell you who you are?.
On the world stage, Nigeria was returned to mediocrity whether on world continental cup or athletics championship where the country is rejoicing over one individual effort. Of concern is the junior standard of the country which was regarded as persona non grata at the world stage in some sports.
Also, NSC that supposedly operates on the budget of the current fiscal year cannot tell the country that that the wastage of funds for job well done around N1Billion doled out in the past year was part of such budget and the reality is that those spending simply denied the country opportunity to develop other talents. Quite frankly, it will be a tall order to meet any developmental program agenda in the current fiscal year. In the end, NSC lacked; developmental sports program, ability to control funds or budget, self-discipline to act within its own policy and knowledge of its own function, therefore, the result of the appraisal of the Minister for Sports is a failed mark in all key areas of review.
The NSC can come out to respond to this article if it has anything to disprove the fail mark but must be advised that any crony that come out with defamatory statements will be charged to court.
Dr. Rashid A. Balogun, CPA, LLB(Hons), LLM(London)