*His electoral process caused more troubles
From Patrick Omorodion
Predictably, our sports minister, Solomon Dalung, who is undeniably the worst that has occupied that position in the nation’s history has rolled out a congratulatory message to the basketball and wrestling teams who made the country proud at the African and world levels respectively.
I knew this was going to happen, I wrote about it and I have been proved right.
Let me start with wrestling. Were we not here when Daniel Igali, president of the Nigeria Wrestling Federation (NWF) cried out over non availability of funds to prepare the wrestlers adequately for the World Championship in France?
Igali and his former board were responsible for whatever feat these wrestlers achieved in France and not because of any reform from Dalung’s manipulated elections in Abuja last June.
In basketball, it is laughable that Dalung will claim credit when in fact his actions have cost the NBBF precious time from carrying out programmes lined out for the women’s and men’s team to prepare for the Afobasket. Every programme, including training tours, friendly games and pre-championship tournament were truncated because of Dalung’s unnecessary interference.
Without being immodest, the foundation for the success of the D’Tigress was never laid in the less than two months the Kida group was given the go ahead to take the team to Mali.
Did Dalung know the efforts the Umar board made to prepare the team for the 2015 Afrobasket as well as the 2015 All Africa Games in Congo? Was he aware that the defunct National Sports Commission (NSC) told the board point blank that they shouldn’t bother to enter the team for the 2016 Olympic qualifier because they don’t have any budget for it but that the board went extra mile to source funds to make the team participate at the Olympic qualifier?
Is he also aware that they missed progressing from their group by the ill-luck of goals difference as all the teams in their group won and lost one game each. All that prepared the team for this year’s championship.
I won’t hide the fact that the coach, Sam Vincent added some value but it worked for him because most of the players have been together and understood each other well.
I doubt if Dalung contributed anything to this success and he should not claim any credit for it. It is only a shameless father who didn’t pay his child’s school fees that will claim credit for the child’s success in an examination.
A child abandoned by his father and struggled to get him or herself prepared for an examination must have worked extra hard to ensure his or her effort is does not go in vain more. That was the lot of our dogged and resilient D’Tigresses.
Dalung as the sports minister can congratulate the basketball and wrestling teams but should not claim any credit for it.
Omorodion is a Lagos-based journalist