Youth under the auspices of One Nigeria Youth, ONY, yesterday, cautioned the Minister of sports and Youth Development, Sunday Dare, to be wary of sycophants capable of derailing his good intentions for the sports sector and young people.
This was contained in a statement signed by the National Coordinator, ONY, Magnus Oku, while expressing concern over activities of alleged corrupt officials in some of sports federations who they described as a clog in the wheels of progress.
According to the group, the recent move by the Minister should be with caution, especially in delving into issues concerning the Nigerian Football Federation, NFF, and urged him to work with people with credibility and integrity.
The statement reads in part, “We all know that sport essentially reproduces established social relations, and an interventionist approach, in which sport is intended to contribute to more fundamental change and transformation in the nation’s life.
“A change that is devoid of corruption and kickbacks, a change that is democratic, centered on due process and transparency. Such a change that the present administration has worked hard to achieve and wants to be remembered for.
“The event of Friday, September 20, is still surprising to the sporting community and football-loving Nigerians who are afraid that our sports may be drifting backward due to corruption and administrative instability.
“The Minister of Youths and Sports Development, held a meeting with NFF Board led by its president, who is currently being investigated by Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) over alleged fraudulent activities at the NFF under his watch, has raised eyebrows among several sport lovers and Nigerians, eagerly awaiting the outcome of such perceived prankish collaboration.
“Given details of the meeting as contained in a communiqué, it has obviously tried to chart a new direction, reposition domestic league, promote youth development, and ensure efficient management of resources among others.
“The resolutions are quite interesting, but a cursory look at them reveals that something creepy is setting into the sector, which some stakeholders consider a threat to sports development. The big question is: ‘Why should we be drifting backward by embracing inept leadership in the sector centered on greed, corruption, and clash of interest?”
Meanwhile according to the statement recent meeting and events showed that there is a looming threat to sports development and that, “Sadly, corruption in Nigerian football is enjoying a good handshake”, the group alleged.
“Beyond that, it seems the New sports Minister is either being misled or has settled for options that could easily compromise his office as Minister of Sports and Youths Development.
“The government of the day prides itself with fighting corruption, abuse of office and clash of interests, so the recent move is clearly against this dream and aspirations, to say the least”, the statement asserted.
The statement also queried and raised objections, “Considering the recent communiqué signed by the Minister and NFF boss, Pinnick, what stands out are misrepresentations and clear breach of protocol. That both personalities signed the document is very strange. Stakeholders conversant with this action are already asking questions that require prompt answers.
“Is the Minister unaware of the administrative processes in the ministry?; Has he abandoned his supervisory role and opted for cheap applause by a section of sports actors and leaders under him?
“One can only urge the Minister to be conscious that as a leader, all eyes are on him at all times. He must realise that management and leadership are very essential for professional practice in the sports sector and that he is not any particular Federation’s co-manager but a supervisor of all segments under his watch”, it added.Read Full Story