By Magnus Oku
In practical leadership, If you’re not willing to embrace change then you’re not ready to lead a reformation; put simply, leadership is not a static endeavor; In fact, leadership demands fluidity, which requires the willingness to recognize the need for change, and finally, the ability to lead change and such is what Minister Solomon Dalung has stood for in the past few years as Nigeria’s Minister of Youth and Sports development.
Nigeria have had several sports Minister since the inception of Democratic dispensation with not much impact in sports reforms but Barrister Solomon Dalung by good records has proven himself one of Nigeria’s very best sports minister in the history of sports development in Nigeria and has interestingly achieved what several sports administrators could not achieve for several years with proven facts to show.
Dalung’s Agility, innovation, disruption, fluidity, decisiveness, commitment, and above all else, a dexterity toward action has led to the creation of reforms we see today in the Sports sector. Dalung was able to identify the need for change and we all know that the need for change exists in every organization as every organization must change to survive. This he began by Democratizing the sports sector in Nigeria. It is that same implementation of change by Dalung which has resulted in the evolving, growing and thriving Sports industry in this administration.
In fact the sequence of Chibuike Chukwus argument uncovers on it’s own that from the beginning of Democratic process dispensation beginning from Damishi Sango to Malam Bolaji Abdulihi and Tamuno Danagogo there has not been an achievement of such in a single administration as what Dalung has achieved within four years.
Last year only, Dalung recorded a milestone in sports development which included: Nigeria emerging overall champions at the 5th African Wrestling Championship which held in port Harcourt Nigeria between 7-11 February, 2018. Nigeria also came first in major category of the championship with 90 Gold medals. For the first time Nigeria participated in Olympic winter games which held between 9-15 February 2018 where the trio of Shewun Adigo, Ngozi Owunmere and Akona Amioga made history at the 23rd Olympic winter games where participants achieved their personal best. Team Nigeria finished strong at 2018 Commonwealth games after a four year break winning 9 Gold, 9 Silver, and 6 bronze medal. Also, the tigress made history as the first African country to qualify for the next round of FIBA world cup finishing 8th in the world for the first time. This was a good backup for 2017 achievements which included Nigeria’s qualification as first African Nation for FIFA world cup without a presidential tax force which saved the nation a lot of money. We can recall the big breakthrough of D tigers at FIBA African Championship and the exploit of D Tigress at Afro Basketball women Championship within 2015-2017 among other exploits recorded in athletics, volleyball ball etc.
In recent time, the present form of the sports federation and the NFF has enhanced our relationship with the world football governing body, FIFA to the point that the organization decided to hold an Executive Football Summits (EFS) in February 2018. This singular action informed the emergence of credible leadership for the federations’ the immediate dividend of which has been the manifest improvement in the performances of the federations in various continental and international tournaments.
On the issue of NFF power tussle, it is worthy of note that Dalung never imposed Chris Giwa nor anyone else in any of the sports federations on Nigerians. The case of Amaju Pinnick and Chris Giwa is simply a result of the pride and arrogance of the former seeing himself as FIFAs anointed one for NFF refused to hearken to the Ministers call for a peaceful resolution but insisted that the matter should be settled in court and afterwards never accepted the court injunction. Recall that at the inception of this tussle Dalung had called on the parties and solicited as a father to resolve the matter as a family, but that was not hearkened to by Mr Pinnick who was comfortable with going to court. It is a known fact that if you submit yourself to a court of competent jurisdiction, you must accept the court injunction and outcome. One will wonder why the same Pinnick who insisted on following a court process, refused to comply with the ruling of the court. Dalung simply followed a Democratic process by letting the rule of law to have its right course in the process. Dalung as a lawyer would always be applauded for his stance on the rule of law as there is nothing in Law and jurisprudence that can credibly object Dalungs submission. Dalung remains loyal to the rule of law as and indispensable factor in the administration of a state and the hope of he common man and believes that such should never be compromised. You may as well agree with me that we cannot submit ourselves to neocolonialism as a sovereign nation allowing an external law to thwart our Judicial process as a nation.
You cannot effectively lead change without understanding the landscape of change. And Chibuike having heard from a staff of the ministry who had seen the transition in the sports sector for over 10 years, in reality, you should know that Dalung among several others, possesses the passion, charisma, and result oriented mindset to further steer the wheels of sports development in Nigeria for the next few years. Dalung’s reform has aided the development of sports from the grassroot as a Democratic process he put in place has impacted every segment of sports in Nigeria. Dalung’s retainment as sports minister should be seen as yet another opportunity to consolidate on the good work at the Ministry of youths and sports development.