Vanguard (Lagos)

Nigeria: Stop This Game of 'Musical Chairs', Ngerem Tells Sports Minister

Former Athletics Federation of Nigeria president, Dan Ngerem has told Sports Minister and chairman of the National Sports Commission, Bolaji Abdullahi to wake up to the reality of Nigerian sports needing urgent fixing, rather than engage in grandiosity, the regular trade mark of previous administrations.

Ngerem, a stickler for procedural organisation, noted that the present dispensation has been all noise and no motion even as Nigeria's President, Goodluck Jonathan has demonstrated a seeming commitment to reviving the country's sports.

But Ngerem is not impressed with the methods of Mallam Abdullahi who after the dismal outing of the Nigerian contingent at the London 2012 Olympics 'waged the dog' by organising a one-day sports summit in Abuja with the aim of charting a way forward for the country's moribund sports.

"We are yet to see the communique of that summit where over N100m was spent. The President left other issues bothering on security, Oil and Gas to sit with his executives to deliberate on sports.

"There should have been a communique that will form the bed rock of a policy guideline that will change the face of our sports. So far there is nothing on ground and all we are seeing is the usual musical chairs played by previous administrations.

"We have the sports minister, directors of sports and all others in the ministry that were in that summit, yet they cannot come up with something," said Ngerem.

He said that after the failure at the London 2012 Olympics, Nigeria sports administrators should have been busy putting down structures that will reverse the trend of bad results at international sports event Nigerians participate in.

"If we were a serious country, the failure at London 2012 should have spurred us into action, but nothing is happening. We don't even know when the elections into the federations will hold so that Nigerians who are keen to help sports will begin to channel their energies.

"Today, the minister is quoted in the media as saying that there would be no government nominees. "Tomorrow he is saying that the associations will now employ their own secretaries. He should come up with clear guidelines. Time is going, we have the world championships coming up for athletics, what time would they have to begin their preparations?

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