Baribote urges Tinubu to appoint knowledgeable person as Minister of Sports

Thu, Jun 8, 2023
By editor


A former Chairman of the defunct Nigeria Premier League (NPL), Victor Baribote, says President Bola Tinubu needs to appoint someone with a vast knowledge of sports as Minister of Sports.

Baribote told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja, while reflecting on former President Muhammadu Buhari’s performance in sports, that this was highly necessary for the sector to meaningfully thrive.

NAN reports that Solomon Dalung and Sunday Dare served as ministers in the Federal Ministry of Sports and Youth Development during Buhari’s two-term tenure as President.

“Appointing someone who knows nothing about sports will worsen our problem and even make us to lose some of the achievements recorded under the past government,” Baribote said.

He said appointing “just anybody” to head the sports ministry would be like employing a carpenter to attend to patients in a hospital.

Baribote said that former Sports Ministers Solomon Dalung and Sunday Dare combined to make Buhari’s administration a success.

He said that sports under Buhari recorded about 70 per cent success compared to previous administrations which could not achieve up to 40 per cent success.

“They (both Dalung and Dare) cannot be scored very high. But, in all honesty, if I must score them it must be above average because the country’s performance at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham is the best of its kind since Nigeria started participating.

“Again, under Dare, the usual rancour between athletes in general and the ministry on welfare package was minimal. So, it was better than what we used to have before,” the former member of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) executive committee said.

He however pointed out that no comparison should be made between the administration of Dalung and Dare because the terrain they operated on were different.

“The terrain was toxic when Dalung was in charge because of several court cases. But, during Dare’s tenure, those cases were not so pronounced.

“Dalung as a lawyer wanted to do the right thing and implement most of the judgments from the side of law but the system in sports did not allow him to do that.

“For instance, when the Supreme Court gave a judgment in the case between Amaju Pinnick and Chris Giwa, people stood on it and Dalung being a lawyer wanted to do the right thing.But someone somewhere in Presidency wanted something else.

“So, I cannot rate them from the same angle, going by the circumstance they operated on. Dalung did his best and Dare also tried to do his best. They were in two different situations, and I cannot compare them,” Baribote said.

The former NPL chairman however warned that the disobedience of court orders under the previous administration should not be allowed in sports again in order not to set a bad precedent.

He noted that Dalung made a lot of enemies trying to enforce some of the court judgments in sports, and was also misunderstood by the “enemies of rule of law”.

“And some of these people in sports did not understand the workings of the judiciary and the law. Dalung is a lawyer and wanted to respect the law, but some felt that they can disrespect the Supreme Court.

“To many, Dalung is a problematic person. But I don’t see him that way. On the other hand, Dare was able to solve the problems of athletes and Sports Federations.

“Sports is full of aggression. You have to attack your opponent while running around the field, even when he is your friend. So, it is something you put in your energy and that translates even to the administrators.

“So, you cannot say this sports minister has done better than the other,” Baribote added.(NAN)