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Jubilation as Obasanjo kicks out Mohammed from sports

Posted by By Tony Ubani & Patrick Omorodion on 2005/07/14 | Views: 456 |

Jubilation as Obasanjo kicks out Mohammed from sports


THERE was wild jubilation yesterday at the National Stadium, Surulere, Lagos at the news of the removal of former Sports Minister, Col. Musa Mohammed, whom most athletes and administrators said presided over the annihilation of sports since he was appointed in 2003.

•appoints another journeyman

THERE was wild jubilation yesterday at the National Stadium, Surulere, Lagos at the news of the removal of former Sports Minister, Col. Musa Mohammed, whom most athletes and administrators said presided over the annihilation of sports since he was appointed in 2003.

Unfortunately however, President Olusegun Obasanjo has again appointed an unknown quantity, at least with respect to sports, like he has always done, to replace Mohammed who wrestled everybody, including the almighty FIFA that threatened to ban Nigeria for Government interference in the running of football.

Mohammed now joins Damishi Sango as the only surviving sports ministers appointed by President Obasanjo since he assumed office in 1999. Obasanjo’s second sports minister Ishaya Mark Aku died in an air crash in Kano while Aku’s successor Stephen ibn Akiga died some months after he was relieved of his appointment.

The new minister Alhaji Saidu Samaila Sambawa from Kebbi State had served formerly as Minister of state for Foreign Affairs but was booted out by President Obasanjo after he prepared a wrongly worded agreement between Nigeria and Sao Tome and Principe after the government of that country was overthrown in a coup.

Alhaji Sambawa after making his return to Obasanjo’s cabinet yesterday promised to use his position to better the lots of sports. He however urgently needs to learn the ropes from the few technocrats who survived Mohammed’s bulldozing at least to save Nigeria from FIFA hammer and salvage the Super Eagles World Cup run which has been jeopardized by the erstwhile minister who ensured the NFA was strangulated so that the body could be run directly from his office.

Mohammed carried his fight against the Ibrahim Galadima led NFA to his last official function in Lagos Tuesday when Communication giants Globacom hosted the Flying Eagles for their performance at the World Youth Championship in Holland.

Alhaji Galadima had praised the team for putting up a performance that not only surprised Nigerians who had written off both the game and its administrators and pledged the determination of his board to redoubled their efforts to return the game to the top.

Mohammed, in his response told Galadima that he was wrong to have said that football was written off and all hopes were lost, stressing instead that he still has hopes in Nigerian footballers as represented by the Flying Eagles. Galadima was however not amused as he and his colleagues knew that by not allowing them free hand to prepare the national teams, the ministry was just waiting for them to fail so that an alibi could be found to flush them out from the NFA.

While Mohammed took the glory of Nigeria’s first ever win of the All Africa Games, not knowing how victory was achieved, he quickly blamed his former Director of Sports Development, Chief Patrick Ekeji for the flop at the Athens Olympics.

He did not remember how he ordered some technical officials and athletes to be dropped from the Games to make room for his kinsmen from Gombe who added nothing to Nigeria’s performance except that they joined in collecting estacode.

He has ordered the NFA to hire a foreign technical adviser for the Super Eagles but warned them that they must pay him with their own funds, an NFA that has to rely on the ministry for even stipends to run the secretariat. Even when Globacom has offered to foot the bill of the foreign coach, Mohammed still wants to know the terms of the contract they want to go into.

A former chairman of one of the sports associations reacting to Mohammed’s removal yesterday said " the man has no shame, he is celebrating the same Flying Eagles he did not provide funds to prepare for the World Youth Championship and even went to scramble telephone handsets with the players at Globacom".

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Fay(Katy, Texas, US)says...

Actually translates to bravehearted.