Dictatorship is a word that Nigerians of years past got a glimpse and reality of what the word meant but nowadays when it raised its ugly head or big stomach the governed rise up vigilantly. This writer wrote about National Sports Commission (NSC) leader and Solomon Ogba (disgraced and no longer a leader) of Athletics Federation (AFN) acting dictatorially and victimizing athletes and NSC maintains blind eyes and ears and in fact wants that man to be Director-General of NSC.
Whatever that is between the two of them will soon be revealed in expose but what happened over the weekend justifies a serious look why the Presidency does not see urgent need to bring in credible and acceptable people in sports.
Solomon Ogba (former NSC imposed AFN leader)
The header here is no misnomer Ogba was imposed by NSC on athletes and discriminated against any athlete who refused to compete for Delta State as slaves and those athletes were over 90% of the national team. He also victimized and intimidated virtually all of them to the point that some of them wrote this writer to aid in finding them a country to naturalise and the NSC leader was informed promptly even with the actual email.
London Olympics Games came with surprise to everyone that Solomon Ogba and his entourage hired a drug violator Ellenwood Garfield to coach Nigerian team. The Minister was informed while he was in London but unfortunately this same Minister joined the parade of drug cheats on red carpet, I refer to Nigeria’s own drug violator Mary Onyali showering her with accolades and Nigerians were amazed with this hypocrisy.
Recently, the Minister announced that not just athletes would be banned in the future but also the officials, but that time is now. Specifically, Solomon Ogba hired the same drug cheat Ellenwood Garfield (of London Olympics outrage) to coach Nigeria’s team in Penn Relays over the weekend.
Again, over the weekend to pacify athletes by intimidation Solomon Ogba illegally banned all Nigerian athletes (over 600) in other to prevent them to vote in election for Board leadership. In fact Ogba also threatened athletes who were not part of his so-called Golden league competition (which is a money stealing scheme). He sent skype threats text messages to some athletes vowing he will deal with them for not supporting him in his foolish agenda of thuggery and corruption, a typical area-boy that he is and was.
Bolaji Abdullahi, Honourable (?) Minister
Well, I hesitated on the use of the term ‘honourable’ because that office is honourable but the occupier, this writer is not so sure based on recent events.
This individual supported Solomon Ogba in all his nefarious actions injurious to the nation called Nigeria and for that reason alone, the term ‘honourable’ appendage to his name got a question mark.
Furthermore, this NSC leader pronounced a communiqué on behalf of various states that was never before the so-called National Council of Sports, essentially he was alleged to be lying because that statements was prepared at least one week before any discussion at the Ilorin parley with states sports council representatives. Again, this is not honourable action.
Going back on Ogba issue, Mr. Abdullahi was reported as forwarding Ogba name to the Presidency to become the next Director-General of NSC. Imagine, the entire Nigerian athletes protest against a person the NSC wants to be its Director-General. I will say this, Mr. Abdullahi and Ogba must leave Nigeria’s sports alone and if you don’t you should expect more protests. Next protest will not just be from the athletes but also from the country’s seats of power as this article will be on the desk of every Government agency in Nigeria, all AFN sponsor and international sporting organizations.
We say, Mr. Abdullahi it’s your call to act honourably or be dishonored and disrespected. Until you ban Solomon Ogba and his destroying supporters at AFN from ever be involve in any sport your actions will be suspicious. The country is in democracy and the athletes that should determine their own future wants freedom and justice not threats, intimidation and drug violators around them or being their leader.
AFN has continually defrauded the country and you are aware but did nothing rather you established a panel to intimidate a complainant of Olympics bribery scandal. The country also became aware of your threat to refer a matter on football management withdrawal of N10million to EFCC but not interested hundreds of millions AFN got illegally from NSC or simply demands records from AFN.
The pending federations elections are as noted many times will be a farce, scam, sham and scandalous and must be jettisoned. Failure of acting in the interest of those you governed, we ask that you resign or we will petition the President to remove you, immediately. This we guarantee you.
Dr. Rashid A. Balogun, CPA, LLB(Hons.), LLM(London)