The sporting media has been awash since last week with the usual euphoria that comes with the appointment of every new minister of sports trying to unravel how the new minister Sunday Dare will pilot the affairs of Nigerian sports in this second and final term of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.
No doubt the immediate past minister of sports, Solomon Dalung, had a good time and did remarkably well in office.
He was perhaps the best since the days of both Rtd. Air Commodores Anthony Ikhazobo and Emeka Omerua of blessed memory.
Dalung came with clearly defined goals which centered on reforms of all sports associations which he largely achieved.
Dalung was focused and courageous in driving the anti-corruption mantra of the Buhari administration in sports, a sector that has been bedeviled by endemic corruption.
In trying to ensure probity and accountability Dalung stepped on toes even at the risk of losing his job, but he trudged on.
Dalung as an activist, social crusader and lawyer brought his activism to bear on Nigeria sports.
It is on record that Dalung openly disagreed with the Attorney General and Minister of Justice and even the office of the Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria on the supremacy of the Nigeria Supreme Court judgment or indeed any court judgment in Nigeria over FIFA statutes.
Dalung did not return as sports minister, but he has left his foot print on the sands of time in Nigeria sports.
Now to Sunday Dare, who has already had so much written about him with the emphasis on his journalistic background.
We look forward to see what he has to offer Nigeria sports, but let us quickly remind Nigerians that a few years back we also had Bolaji Abdullahi as sports minister with a journalistic background was a complete disaster.
One of the legacies he left behind is the contraption called League Management Company (LMC) that has been a drain pipe to our football treasury.
While wishing Sunday Dare well in the enormous task ahead, clearly the path to follow is his choice particularly as it concerns Nigeria football.
Sunday Dare has inherited two entrenched groups in Nigeria football – one group supports the looting of our football treasury to no end.
The other group stands for probity and accountability.
The group that supports looters of our football treasury and the gang of looters themselves are very influential and has so much cash to play with it can do anything money can afford to have its way.
The second group is also influential, strong willed and courageous and is determined to take the battle of the recovery of over $26m and several billions of sponsorship funds allegedly looted by the first group to its logical conclusion.
Unfortunately for our new minister there would be no middle course and whichever group the new minister aligns with, the other group will fight the minister.
We at the National Association of Nigeria Footballers (NANF) congratulate and welcome our new minister of sports who we assure can always count on our support to move Nigeria football forward .
BY HARRISON JALLA