The wealth of a nation is determined by the collective wealth of all its citizens, but what if the citizens got no wealth and this writer says, the nation is bankrupt and must start afresh as it was after the World Wars decades past. Sports in Nigeria is bankrupt and virtually non-existent except perhaps football. Athletics is comatose where university graduates and aged men and women are paraded as youth while the seniors are recruited aged-foreign mediocre druggists that has no semblance of connection to Nigeria. The stadiums are in deplorable conditions (National Stadium Surulere, Lagos and Obafemi Awolowo Stadium Ibadan insults common sense considering yearly recurring expenditures budgeted for them – at least over N20Billion in the past 4years). This is absurd, moral bankruptcy and insult to the citizens of Nigeria and MUST STOP. General Muhammadu Buhari are you listening?
Power tussle in the football federation and lame-duck de facto Sports Minister Danagogo has settled down. To remind those who didn’t follow such issue, Mr. Danagogo ordered the football federation to hire Stephen Keshi or any top UEFA Coach. Although, Mr. Keshi enjoys President Jonathan support, but this event is simply outrageous and that has nothing to do with Mr. Keshi or Mr. President personally, but professionally speaking, the football federation appears to be full of ‘yes sir’ individuals that lacks courage. Although, this submission is contrary to highly esteemed credentials earned by those federation scribes and one can only conclude that unknown reasons exist that prevented these individuals from courageous act like its secretary general did by walking-off the job recently.
Quite frankly, Mr. Keshi should bow out quietly now (contract or no-contract) and that is based on observation of the team when he handled it and even now because quality expected are those being showcased by Siasia U-23 team. This writer doubts if any team presented by Keshi can defeat Siasia’s current team. Furthermore, the open door policy enjoyed by Keshi with President Jonathan is now a thing of the past and the scrutiny he is going to face will be severe from Nigerians.
On the athletics front, that federation is still wallowing in misery and the National Sports Commission (NSC) never at any time show interest on any development concerning that sport. Mr. Danagogo did a good thing by supervising the football federation whereas he simply ignored Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) even when Nigeria’s passports were fraudulently issued to non-Nigerians who failed woefully at the Commonwealth Games. Some Nigerians claimed he discriminated against the North with his action in respect of football and aided AFN atrocities, wherever the truth lies Mr. Bolaji Abdullahi did the same thing even changing the National Sports Festival format because of Governor Uduaghan (Delta governor) request. The fact, is both Sports Ministers (current or former) were wrong not to have universal rule.
Nigeria is presenting a team for the African Youth competition in Mauritius soon before the All African Games and age falsification is on the agenda for the youth games and for the senior’s team, Solomon Ogba vowed to present aged-illegal-bought-druggists as Nigeria’s team and the question the incoming regime is ARE YOU GOING TO ALLOW THIS OR JAIL THESE PEOPLE?
A cow is said to regurgitate its meal (contaminated or not) and human beings will show signs of discomfort whenever a contaminated meal is ingested and can either vomit or purging such meal. By analogy to Nigeria sports, the country had gone through over 16years of regurgitating or rather recycling of people of no-good intention towards the country and it is time to vomit or purge every individual that were part of the system of sports mediocrity or nuisance. Recovery of all funds meant for stadium upgrade must commence and athletes’ development cannot no longer be exclusively contracted out to sport federations. The culture of epileptic sports policy must be purged, now. Change, the country demand.
I rest for now.
Dr. Rashid A. Balogun, CPA, LLB(Hons.), LLM(London)