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Barr. Dalung, Architect Behind Democratization Of Sports Federations



Barr. Dalung, Architect Behind Democratization Of Sports Federations

Joel Ajayi

Though many sports stakeholders may not like him, and his style of operation of the game of sports in the country but his fight to liberate the functionless federations when assumed office more than three years ago which led to the vibrancy of many sports federation, today remain extraordinary in the history of sports in the country.

Without any apology to anybody, many federations remained dormant before his coming, they are like toothless bulldog that can only bark but cannot bite.

Dalung who since his assumption into the office of the sports, Minister had catch the niche for himself across the world courtesy of his firmness and dodgedness toward the sports.

Know him for his distinguised dressed Khaki and Beret. When asked why he chooses the berets and Khaki he replied “The ‘Red Beret’ is my signature for a struggle of the common people. The ‘Khaki’ is just nothing but a very modest way of appreciating the magnitude of problems the ‘common people’ face in this country.

The  Plateau-born, Dalung because of his hard work and passion has become the first ever longest serving minister of sports as no minister spent three and a half years in office as minister of sports.

Before the dawn of the present administration, the ex-minister was empowered to appoint members of the federations, which were regarded as political appointments.

Of a truth, the nomination of government officials into previous federations contributed to them being populated by “incompetent people.”

As part of the reforms, starting from the 2017 elections, Dalung said there will no longer be any government nominee on any federations board and he stood by his word.

“I believe the absence of government, nominees will help guard against incompetent people populating the boards.

“In the past, National Sports Federation Elections had been mired in controversies; with various accusations of manipulation and connivance by the then National Sports Commission. We have had cases of imposition of candidates and exclusion of the real stakeholders, thus calling into question the credibility of the entire process.

“This has resulted in many boards having the majority of their members with either little or no knowledge of the sport, or even any passion for it. In some cases, federations had been run as personal estates, with impunity and sometimes outright disregard for the Ministry,”

Indeed, the days of handpicking candidates or running a federation like an emperor are gone and the result is enormous.

Today, his struggle toward the democratization process of sports federations had improved performances in sports and as given confidence to the athletes as sports federations were liberated and now functioning effectively and efficiently.

Indeed, the measurement of any leader is the legitimacy and if Barr Solomon Dalung will be remembered for something in the ministry, his stewardship of democratization of sports, federation should be number one the numerous achievements.

Speaking in Abuja with Sports Online Publisher Association of Nigeria on Thursday evening Dalung narrated how he wish to be a minister for one day because of the democratization process than to be a minister for years without any changes.

Dalung expressed that the vibrancy of the Sports federations can’t be over emphasized.

According to him, in 2015 for the first time, the black African country which in Nigeria  own Scrabble championship and we retained in 2017  and this year we are ready for the competition.

“I will not forget too soon the young Nigerians in Cannoing and Rowing who qualified for Olympics  and even be the first African to be in semi final.

One of the achievement is the Female Hockey team they won Bronze for Nigeria after 14 years.

“Despite the crisis that beclouds the federation in the past two years. The success and achievements of the NBBF under this Board testifies to this fact. Apart from the upward movement in the ranking of our national teams – the D’Tigers becoming No 1 in Africa and 32 in the World Ranking and the Women’s Team, D’Tigress being No 2 in Africa and 19 in the World Ranking – the overall success of both teams have improved Nigeria’s image in the world and earned as much respect within the global Basketball family.

“Nigeria’s super falcon’s have done this country very great having extend and maintained their dominance in Africa’s Womenf football for a very long time.

“I will not forget the contribution of our female Wrestlers of course the wrestling federation is growing every fast.

“The parasports are amazing Nigerians, they are champions any time any day.

“The interesting on is the Cricket  Federation, Nigeria is not a cricket playing nation, it’s not the game that is common in Nigeria but we put it non the world map we went to Nambia defeated the giant countries and qualified for world event for the first time.

“This kind of achievements with so many others will continue to remain fresh in my memory and make me happy as a minister of Youths and Sports.” He revealed.



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Niger Delta Youth Council Facilitates with Nigerians on the Occasion of World Youth Day



…reflects on the state of the nation

…calls for youth friendly policies

The Niger Delta Youth Council (NDYC), a pressure group devoted to youth empowerment and development in the Niger Delta has facilitated with the federal government and Nigerian youths as the world marks International Youth Day, a day set aside to celebrate youths all over the world and reflect on the challenges they face and ways to surmount them.

In a press release made available to journalists in Abuja by the National Coordinator, Engr. Jator Abido, the group expressed optimism that this year’s World Youth Day will avail Nigerian youths and government and avenue to brainstorm and find lasting solutions bedeviling the Nigerian youth especially in the area of unemployment and perennial insecurity that has hindered economic activities in many parts of the country.

“Today is an important date sets aside to celebrate International Youth Day. The importance of this annual celebration according to the United Nation (UN) is to among other things raise voices against any injustice or discrimination and deprivation around the globe against the youth. We as a pressure group want to use this opportunity to call attention to the alarming rate of unemployment which has risen to 35% in the third quarter of 2022 as well as insecurity which has brought to a halt economic activities in most parts of the country. It is our hope that government will act fast to end insecurity and reverse the ugly trend of unemployment in the country”, the statement noted.

The lingering strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), the group noted has far reaching implications on the future of Nigerian youths and if nothing is done about it, will endanger the mental and social capacity of youth, predisposing them to social crimes and agents of destabilization in the forth coming general elections

“The implication of this unwarranted strike is that for the past six months and counting, Nigerian youths have been idling away at home and the federal government has not considered the damage such failures portend. Not just that future leaders of Nigeria are idle but an idle mind is the devil’s workshop. Criminal elements within the ruling class will quickly recruit and turn them to agents of destruction and crime as the 2023 general elections draw near. This must not be allowed to happen. The federal government must act fast to reverse this ticking time bomb from exploding” the statement urged.

The CSO equally charged the federal government to come out with policies that will encourage the participation of Nigerian youths in the downstream oil sector especially by actively using local artisans in line with local content policy of the federal government insisting that Nigerian youths especially those in the Niger Delta region have what it takes to actively transform the oil sector and end the sad phenomenon of exporting crude and importing refined products which is almost crumbling the economy.

“We are once again calling on the federal government on this occasion of International Youth Day to as a matter of national importance formulate policies which will make the local content law a more practical reality. Our youths are well skilled in oil exploration and even refining. Granting licenses to local artisans and modifying their technology will end the uneconomical policy of importing refined petroleum products at exorbitant rates at the expense of the naira. Such steps will also put an end to youth restiveness in the country and stimulate economic growth”, the statement added.

On the need to inaugurate the Niger Delta Development Commission’s (NDDC) Board, the CSO noted, it is long overdue and the federal government must use this occasion of the International Youth Day to respond to the yearnings of youths in the Niger Delta who are the first beneficiaries and sufferers of both good and bad policy choices in the region, arguing that, NDDC can not continue to run without a substantive Board.

“Mr. President Sir, we are calling on you to use your good office and cause the inauguration of the NDDC Board which was duly constituted but has since not being inaugurated because of the activities of saboteurs. This is not only unconstitutional but a slap on the faces of law abiding Niger Deltans who are looking forward to development massive in the region. Without a Board, corruption is rife in the Commission and the people who are supposed to be served are suffering because of the greed of a few politicians. If nothing is done to bring an end to this impunity, we’ll have no choice but to take up arms and fight for our rights”, the statement concluded.

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