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Sports Minister Solomon Dalung: N5.9Billion Corruption Scandal,  Blackmails the Presidency..

It is very curious to feed a cat the first time as opposed to a monkey because feeding that two legged animal can be assumed as one time event. However, the likelihood that the cat will return time and time and again stands a greater chance than electoral success of most incumbents even with no opponent in sight. Let’s focus on the theme of this article as headlined, some few months ago, the Nigeria’s team embarked on All African Games while the country is transitioning from the government of the past to the new regime, the consequences of which funds were very scarce. 

Due to the emergency nature of the event unfolding, the Presidency thought it beneficial to enhance the country’s image through sports while jettisoning pressing concerns and in that process doled out N2.9Billion to the Sports ministry out of the Presidency budget (NOT SPORTS MINISTRY BUDGET) for purposes of African Games and preparation for RIO Olympics games. This writer doubts, if any sports loving leader will do something different. Yes, former President Goodluck Jonathan intervened severally as well, so it’s now a syndrome the country can get rid of. Furthermore, the  question that ought to be asked about the Sports Ministry Budget (sports development and grassroots budget approximately N3Billion in the last four years) that encumbered African and the Olympics games funds and where such monies disappeared before such games.

Account of N2.9Billion + N3Billion

Several spurious allegations and counter allegations between Sports Minister Dalung and Mr. AlHassan Yakmut on the N2.9Billion spending and account of it. According to Yakmut, out of the N2.9Billion Presidential intervention fund, there was an unspent cash of about N600million that he also handed over to Mr. Dalung. Mr. Dalung response was simply he has no document to prove the spending N2.9Billion, but he never acknowledges Mr. Yakmut allegation of N600million left over funds.

Either way, this event is so embarrassing to Nigerians because the funds were never spent on any athlete or coaches that were camped for Olympics in Port Harcourt since November without any stipend.

However, Mr. Dalung himself acknowledges that he sourced funding elsewhere for the Super Eagles and others, which clearly avoids the question, that is, what happened N600million? That is, if Mr. Dalung ought to be believed as opposed to Mr. Yakmut and the interesting follow-up query, is why is the Minister sourcing funding for the illegal football federation that has independent multibillion naira budget of its own?

To recap, the Sports Minister took his side to Thisday Newspaper alleging that he himself don’t know what happened to FGN intervention funds of N2.9Billion to his Ministry just one month before he assumed office. Mr. Yakmut responded that Mr. Dalung is economical with the truth because he handed over all files and N600million to Mr. Dalung.

In evidence, Mr. Dalung hired Eric Campbell and Angie Taylor contrary to the Constitution and Law of the Federation of Nigeria to do nothing because he hated Yakmut so much and Yakmut refused to hire them because Bolaji Abdullahi had hired them to do nothing for over N500million to be directors of Fake High Performance Center.

As for Dalung he claimed that he hired Eric Campbell and Angie Taylor for a monthly salary of N5million plus benefits, he made several trips abroad with entourages including the Permanent Secretary (USA, China, etc), Angie Taylor (China, USA), Eric Campbell (USA), AlHassan Yakmut (Brazil, China, etc.) and others. These trips serve no purpose but the question is at whose expense? Clearly, extacode were paid these individuals. An inquiry minds will direct Mr. Dalung to explain why he thinks anyone believe his rants about lack of funds? Of course, rumours has it that Eric Campbell and Angie Taylor are now complaining that they are owed three months’ pay. Are these people for real? They belong in jail cell! Mr. Dalung may join them as well, this writer says.

The Blackmail Article

On May 20 2016 Solomon Dalung sponsored a media campaign against the government he is serving the title of the article is “Rio Olympics: Dalung cries over lack of fund to train athletes.”
(Read more at: http://www.vanguardngr.com/2016/05/rio-olympics-dalung-cries-lack-fund-train-athletes/)

The key point reading through the writing suggests a confused leader rolling around in filth without a plan or skill to exit the filth rather than step back and think then proceed, but ends up ranting and raving as there is no tomorrow. Of course, the Presidency will be flabbergasted like any other human, but what next is hard to predict. Rather than speculating, it’s a better idea to wait for the unfolding events because even APC governor Oshiomole denounced the Sports Minister publicly for lack of skills in sports development in an article titled “Oshiomhole blasts Dalung” dated 10 May 2016.  

Read more at: http://www.vanguardngr.com/2016/05/oshiomhole-blasts-dalung/

The question then becomes who does Sports Minister serve? He does not have the interest of his political party, according to some people, he doesn’t have the interest of the Presidency corruption campaign nor does he have the interests of the youths and athletes. Of course, he claimed to be a guerrilla fighter which suggests terrorist background and everyone wants to know where he got such training, whether from Boko Haram, Al Qaeda, ISIS or other terror networks. Anyway, a reasonable person looks at this; it’s not good for Nigeria Security Agencies that screens Mr. Dalung to become a Minister in the first place.

RIO Preparation

It appears that the football team are leaving no stone unturned in the preparation while some others sports, are still trying to figure out how to prepare. Athletics can boast of Blessing Okagbare for the third Olympics games and female relay teams will have to dig very deep to make the finals even with Mrs Okagbare injection because of sub-standard performances so far. 

The male athletes can’t simply make standard and the one or two with basic standard considering their age do not invite any enthusiasm. Yes, the 44seconds runner is injured consequences of Penn Relays and useless US trips.

Wrestling might just be the sport that will make President Buhari happy because this writer cannot help but to praise our female team members on their recent performances, well, few of the male team impress as well but at the Olympics, they need to up their adrenaline.

The male Basketball team will be the Cinderella team at the Olympics and even the Americans and Brazil shivers when they see Nigeria’s tall aggressive men and that may be all that is required psychologically to play ball mono-a-mono rather than dominance.

The country’s table tennis team seems resilient and always deliver surprises, but will that be enough against China, Taiwan, Singapore, etc. Too distant to call.

Way forward

Sports Minister Dalung is simply clueless, has no skill running even a suya joint and the embarrassment is too great, therefore, must go now. The country should focus on team sports at the Olympics.

I rest for now

Dr. Rashid A. Balogun, CPA, LLB(Hons.), LLM(London), Ph.D

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