OPINION: A Tale of Sports, Political Gambling in Nigeria – Aderonke Ogunleye-Bello
As a great fan of country music, one of my favorite songs of Kenny Rogers is, ‘The Gambler’ some part of it read thus; You’ve got to know when to hold them, know when to walk away and know when to run, you never count your money when you are sitting at the table there will be time enough to counting when the deal is down.
Every Gambler knows, that the secret to surviving is knowing what to throw away and knowing what to keep cause every hand is a winner and every hand is a loser, the song goes on and on as they Gamble with the Fate of our Sports with the appointment of Politicians.
What is the big deal in doing the right things for the growth of Nigerian Sports, for how long will the absence of Technocrats at the helms of affairs in Sports inflict heartbreaks on Nigerians, how long? So long? Too long.!
Political Gamble is killing the development of Sports in the most populous country in africa and with affirmation I want to reiterate that, it is a serious issue of which, if I throw the dice and turn it around what next? I either win or lose and of course, politicians never lose, they enrich their lives and pockets, at the mercy of Nigerians, of Sports followers, of that amateur and talented athlete, they murder the future.
Most of them are clueless, their ignorance and nonchalant attitude cause more harm than good, they are self conscious because they believe their godfathers can’t remove them so far their loyalty is intact, they will make money, fame and walk away, Sports will, as usual, go back to square one as the biggest casualty
Nigerian sports keeps dwindling every time, even with the power to stir the National development, it is languishing in shambles.
Looking at the history of sports in Nigeria, the importance and its use, we all know that it is the only universal language and the only major factor that bond the already ethnic and religious-divided Nation together, why gamble with this important factor?
The biggest gambler is the Federal Government who will appoint politicians to handle Nigerian sports affairs, which in most cases resulted in our not expecting any perfect delivery. The appointment of technocrats should be prioritize, a technocrat has been called, he has studied, and also knows his way around the administration of the game and how to be in charge.
Sincerely speaking, Sports in Nigeria need restructuring and it must starts from the very top. Let’s look at this together, The Chairman/Director General of the National Sports Commission and the Minister of Sports are politicians without any cognat experience on sports administration.
What do you expect of politicians without any incline or previous experience of sports administration? Failure, woeful failure and monumental disaster. Certainly, continuation with the same old order means more heart injuries and breaks for the sports-loving citizens of this country.
Let’s look yet again, a situation where Sports administrators abandon the ministry for political campaigns with video recording is not healthy for the growth of the game.
However a former Sports Minister, Bolaji Abdullahi, although not my best of friends, during his tenure tried in his capacity to introduce new policies, still, the tenure was riddled with allegations of corruption and scandals. He was however, sacked on political ground, replaced by another politician and the circle goes on, where do we go from here.
Presently, there is a technocrat acting as the DG of the NSC, Mr. Al-Hassan Yakmut, who I have worked under his leadership that I can assure that if given an ample time will make a huge difference, why? He is a Grassroots Sports enthusiast and a tested Sports Administrator.
Enough of the gambling that has retrogressed Nigerian sports. Like in saner climes, politicians should remain in the local governments, parliament and other political positions even as aides to their fellow politicians and leave our Sports alone.
To the President-elect, my appeal is that you help the Nation appoint Technocrats with fast knowledge of policies to restore the past glory of the game in the country. I equally appeal the you evolve a monitoring mechanism that will enable us hold them accountable.