The most powerful man in Nigerian sports, Dr. Amos Adamu, was unceremoniously removed yesterday as Director General of the National Sports Commission. President Umaru Yar'adua ordered Adamu's removal.
Daily Trust gathered from very authoritative sources in the Presidency last night that Adamu was directed to report to the office of the Head of Service of the Federation, from where he will be redeployed to another parastatal.
No reason was given for the exercise which came eight days after erstwhile Sports Minister Abdulrahaman Hassan Gimba was removed in a cabinet reshuffle announced by the president last week.
However, it was learnt that Adamu's removal from the NSC was not unconnected with the embarrassment caused to the country by the Local Organising Committee (LOC) for Nigeria 2009 FIFA U-17 World Cup.
Another source told Daily Trust that Adamu's redeployment to the office of the Head of Service of the Federation is but a prelude to his final sack from the public service, which he has less than two years left to serve.
According to the sources, the President quietly asked his staff and security agencies to compile a dossier on Adamu, which was handed over to him yesterday, prior to the director general's removal.
Dr Adamu means different things to different people, especially those associated with sports in Nigeria. To some, he is Nigeria's sports czar, while others see him as an albatross in the Nigerian sports sector. For close to 17 years, he has presided over the country's sports sector, superintending over all sporting associations and events during his reign.
Before venturing into sports administration, Dr. Adamu was a university lecturer, from where he was transferred to the National Institute of Sports (NIS).
In 1992, Adamu was appointed the Sole Administrator of the Nigeria Football Association. It was during his reign at the Nigeria Football Association that Nigeria qualified in 1993 for her first ever senior World Cup in USA 1994.
Thereafter, he was posted to the Federal Ministry of Sports as Director of Sports Development, where he built his empire in the nation's sports administration.
Popularly known among his admires as 'goal getter and achiever', Adamu was the Director General of COJA, the body that organized the 2003 All Africa Games in Abuja; after which he returned to his duty post as Director Sports Development at the sports ministry.
Early in 2006, Adamu spearheaded the transformation of the Sports Ministry to the National Sports Commission (NSC), which resulted in the scrapping of the post of permanent secretary in the commission. He thereby became the chief executive officer of the commission.
An Executive Committee member of Federation of International Football Association (FIFA) and Confederation of Africa Football (CAF), Adamu is also the President of West Africa Football Union (WAFU).
All efforts by our Daily Trust last night to speak to the spokesman of the National Sports Commission, Tony Ohaeri proved abortive, as he refused to answer our calls.