Farewell to 2018, Year of Few Achievements and Plenty of Solomon Dalung Blunders

By Daily Sports on December 31, 2018

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The year 2018 is on its way as history and it witnessed, as usual, the good, the bad and the ugly as sports got its full dose of the battered economy that has ravaged all the sectors in the country, leaving deadly scares in its trail. Forget the few flashes of success recorded; they were a result of raw determination on the part of athletes to excel in order to get for themselves befitting contractual offers from other clubs.

This column would not waste time listing the ups and downs in sports which were too obvious.  Doing a review of sports in 2018, one would insist, should be safely imagined than described. It is an open secret that almost all activities in the year under review was mired in controversy,  politically induced by no other person than the Sports Minister, Solomon Dalung, that fought lost battles that not only created a bad image for sports but also retarded its growth and upward leap.

As I did say from the beginning, it would be boring for both the writer and the readers to go through that ugly reminder of the year; rather one would pray that such would not revisit sports come 2019 if there must be a great departure from the present nonsense. It may be right to come with the verdict that it was near a woeful year for sports. Yes, Super Falcons qualified for the next World Cup in French, Super Eagles for the AFCON, Golden Eaglets too etc.

Daily Sports wish to use this space to urge Lobi Stars and Rangers International that the stakes are now higher at the respective continental champions they are flying Nigeria’s flag and therefore all hands must be on deck if the momentum must be maintained. Truth is that the championships have entered the arena where men trade tackles and as such this is where only the fittest survive now. It gladdens my heart that both Lobi and Rangers knew what is at stake and are also blessed with seasoned and proactive administrators in Mike Idoko and Davidson Owumi. Mike told his audience and fans his efforts to bring in five more fresh deadly legs to fortify his Lobi team for the battle of the Titans ahead of the group stage. It is commendable and a mark of foresight too. It is then good luck to both teams.

With this last article for the year, we will draw the curtain on the fast overzealous attitude of the Sports Minister Solomon Dalung who has since he found himself as Minister in charge of this great industry, attracted to himself the inglorious name as one that talks before thinking. He is one public official that has controversy as his middle name and of late he has suddenly been singing discordant tunes trying to portray himself as later day “saint” which no matter how he tries would not erase the way and manner he soiled his hands in deals and sundry and coming out now to carve a saintly image leaves soured taste in the mouth.

He has been behaving like a bull in the Chinese shop since he lost his misguided and ill-advised move to stop the NFF elections in which he was badly bruised and has not and will forever be hunted by that incident till the rest of his life on earth. He is one that fights many wars at the same time but at the end, he got himself thoroughly disgraced and washed in the public domain with mud water. His scanty knowledge on almost every subject matter in sports also gives him out as one Sports Minister that learns nothing and forgets nothing.

He has been so managed along by his betters until he stepped out to take more than he can chew hence he was left to suffer the fate of betrayed character as he got the full dose of and was so treated as a typical nobody, in short, like the way and manner people that eat with both hands end.  Dalung was again in the news for the wrong reasons recently. Lest we forget, he brought forward the nonpayment of Super Falcons match bonuses for two years and we discussed it here and thumbed him but faulted his attitude of bringing important matters at a time things take shine off such and as if that was not enough, he again threw up another can concerning the multi-billion Naira that was spent in the World Cup in Russia. I must be honest with you that in as much as one is an advocate of transparency, it is not enough for the likes of Solomon Dalung to bandy such serious issue like a beer parlour talk which carries no weight at the end of the day. He has held such bad manner like religion and it has not helped sports.

He has not been taking seriously on issues of such magnitude and it got him the appellation of an unserious Minister. Some has seen him as a rabble-rouser and so dismiss anything from him with a wave of the hand. He has been courting controversies than solving problems- the Super Falcons bonuses and now the Russia 2018 money stuff. It is common knowledge that on his effort to play clean before the unsuspecting public, he rather and sadly enmeshed himself in more dirty and dangerous murky water that has often than not portrayed him as one who has failed to do his homework well or not being worried on the kind of image he has courted over these years.

The above has once upon a time prompted this columnist to once ask a million dollar question of ‘Who Advises Solomon Dalung?’ because of the embarrassing moment his actions and inactions have brought upon sports and the image of the country. He sadly maintained the status quo. What are the backups with which he would use to probe how the huge amount released for the Russia 2018 World Cup summit was spent? He obviously needs proof to ascertain whether it was judiciously spent or otherwise. Like it has been said, talk is cheap and incidentally, Dalung has held such like never before and when it is time to match action with words, he would be found wanting.

That is such height of incompetence and it has portrayed him as a paper tiger before the good people of Nigeria. That is one of what this failed present administration has done to sports. A Greek gift, aptly qualified by the Shakespearean tragedy, Macbeth, his troubles kept multiplying each passing day that ‘some love that follows us are our trouble’. Whoever recommended Solomon Dalung to oversee the sports sector would forever be troubled and his name dropped into the refuse dump of history. He has performed woefully and talks cheap. His has been all motion no movement.

If he must be taken seriously for once, let him come up without further delay the measures with which he wants to carry out the probe of the funds spent in Russia if he is not just flying his usual kite that has led nowhere in particular. Let me inscribe here once again that Solomon Dalung is a colossal failure and by the grace of God, this Egyptian we saw in 2018, we would see no more after May 2019. He must come up with a machinery to unravel who is holding Super Falcons match bonuses two years after and recently the monies spent in the World Cup months after. It is better late than never and Dalung must without any more foot-dragging provides platforms to fish out the culprits or otherwise the two witty issues he brought up, he should shut and get ready to go and enjoy his loot over these as his retirement benefit.

That is the only way he would salvage his already battered image; otherwise, let him keep quiet and stop disturbing our eardrums by controlling his loud mouth and his nature of talking on the drop of a hat. It ruins sports as he comes out to blow hot air after cutting deals. I don’t want to believe a certain school of thought that he acts that way when a deal goes sour! No, I think it is his nature of trying to fall out with everyone around him.

A simple and candid request is he should act now or shut up permanently. Let us discuss further in Daily Sports social media handles as usual, as we keep the this week’s topic hot on the front burner. See you, very dear reader that have kept this refreshingly different column vibrant which has earned us widespread visits. See you in 2019. Much love and stay with www.dailysportsng.com as we promise not to lower the already set standard in news reportage, analysis, features and sundry. Keep the flag flying as we shoot hard till next week!!

Source Daily Sports

Posted December 31, 2018

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