What sports system do we want as Nigerians?
*Those we may not need tomorrow in the federations
Thank God my name is not Solomon. Diversity is one step we are fighting. Do we have the will to do the right things? We have the best human resources in Africa someone told me. We know that the biggest economy is sports which can create and sustain over 3.854million jobs at no cost to any tier of the nation’s government structure.
Why are we so blessed and yet we are so thirsty in the midst of all? Remember, I said, thank God I am not Solomon. I wish this Solomon Selcap Dalung, a big hearted fellow, will remember what he told Nigerians when he first got to this public office that he will step on toes, big toes, for that matter and two, he promised to fight corruption.
Why am I bringing that statement of his that was widely reported to bear now? We are at the junction. We must decide which of the three routes ahead are we taking. Straight, right or left.
When Bolaji Abdullahi got this opportunity, he saw the right route. He planned it and knew where it will lead us. He told the nation, every federation must sustain itself in the jungle of funding. They will appoint their own Secretary general.
By the time he got to the junction, he drove straight where nothing changes. It is called the status quo. That is why four years after, it was proven that 98% of the passengers he picked at the last bus stop were spectators.
The driver today is Solomon Selcap Dalung. He has the Godwin Kienka report that had suggested what should be done to make things work. He had been advised to turn right when he gets to the junction. It is the quality of passengers he picks that will determine if he goes left, straight or right.
Bus conductor: I want to play the role of the bus conductor. I know which kind passenger my driver will need for us to meet the target of how much we make at the end of the day. I also know that the final decision of where to take to our destination is the driver’s own. Mine is to pick and scout for passengers.
Pharisees and Saducees: They know the law, customs and traditions from time immemorial and why nobody should come and distort them. They have the best of advises coloured in the interests that is good and usually personal. They normally will choose the courtiers who have been groomed. The college of scribes is theirs.
This stubborn Solomon has shown that he is King and that he may be having his mind different from that of the Pharisees and Saducees. Like a coupist, he withdrew all the scribes and introduced a new generation of scribes from the pool without those who have the experience and took those with deep rooted traditions and experience to return to the palace.
Selcap! Selcap!! Selcap!!! How many times did I not call you? The Pharisees and Saducees with which you discuss and who are with you all day are not happy you want to go the right turn when you get to the junction. They are always better when you go straight or left. They have reported you and as ‘amebos’ I have squealed to you. Let them make your mind for you. You are not expected to have a mind of your own.
The ides of April: Four years ago, in the month of April the current Boards of Sports Federations were elected and inaugurated. The ceremony shall be expected to enter into another election this April. The guidelines are being expected and certainly there is tension in some of the more entrenched sports especially those with Emperors.
Those we may not need tomorrow in the federations: Ordinarily, some of the federations where changes are expected to be put in place include Tennis (Sani Ndanusa), Volleyball (Habu Gumel), Handball (Yusuf Dauda), Athletics (Solomon Ogba), Basketball (Umar). Ndanusa and Gumel especially have outlived their values, if there was any really. They had occupied their seats for over a decade and the graphline dropped below the origin line into negative.
Many of the great sports who have taken a back seat include Boxing (Kenneth Minimah), Weightlifting (Chibudom Nwuche) and Taekwondo (George Ashiru). Except for the occupational troubles the boxing boss faced which slowed the exalted return of boxing. Chibudom Nwuche was the worst
Many of them just exist to make the long list of 42 federations populated. Long were the days when Squash Racket, Swimming, Badminton, Karate, Judo were making the mark.
In the outgoing term, there were only four federations: Scrabble, Wrestling, Basketball and Cricket in that order. Of these population, basketball had institutional structures which covered the inadequacies of the outgoing Board. Whereas, Scrabble is the best followed by Wrestling and Cricket.