By Lawrence Oshodi (SPORTS CORRESPONDENT)
A former minister of sports, Solomon Dalung, has stated that the Sunday Dare-led administration must take responsibility for the “shame” it brought to Nigeria at the ongoing Tokyo Olympics.
Dalung also stated that Dare, who replaced him as the sports minister in 2019, does not have the “patriotic political will to consolidate on the gains on the ground” and that is the reason for Team Nigeria’s numerous disappointments in Tokyo.
It could be recalled that Team Nigeria suffered a few avoidable logistical incidents at the Olympics, which led to the disqualification of 10 athletes and Puma prematurely ending the 4-year contract it signed with the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN).
Reacting to this development in a chat with Arise TV on Thursday, Dalung tagged the circumstance as a “drama of shame” that resulted from “a war between national interest and personal ego”.
“It is a lack of patriotic political will to consolidate on the gains on the ground. I think what played out here is a war between national interest and personal ego. And national interest lost the war woefully. Personal ego won and won triumphantly in Tokyo. Nigeria is back to square one, unfortunately,” the former minister said.
“When I was the minister, I continued from where my predecessor ended. When we get to the field, we built on previous successes, and Nigeria did very well.
“Dissolving federations three months to Olympics is an indication that we are not prepared for the Olympics. No (Army) general dissolves his troops on the eve of an attack and expect to win a war. The dissolved boards have trained and catered for the athletes for more than two years.
“Crises are part of human existence. The management is what determines the quality of leadership. I inherited many crises, but I resolved them.
“Leadership is about taking responsibilities. When things go wrong, somebody has to be responsible. The entire drama of shame is avoidable. This is a shame that the country has found itself.”