|General Ishola Williams|
*Indicts Senate, Reps Committees of sports
Secretary General of the Commonwealth Handball Federation, General Ishola Williams (retired) has come hard on the nation’s flop in the Olympics saying that the nation’s seat of power, the Presidency aids and abets the quality of corruption in the nation’s sports sector.
In an e-mail response, the former President of the Handball Federation of Nigeria said, “People, conducting a study is not the issue. We have done many such studies, therefore we have the 3Ms and the Plans and Programmes. With 40 years experience in sports at the national (which makes me have relationship with the ministry of Sports/National Sports Commission whose other name is corruption and confusion.
Given that I have served at the continental and International levels and being a member of our National Olympic Committee (NOC) for nearly 30 years, I can speak with some authority on this issue.
He added, “There are the usual series of reports and studies, including reports of visits to Australia and by the Australians for National Institute of Sports (NIS), at the Presidency and at the Commission itself (Please talk to Alhaji Ibrahim Galadima, ex NFA Chairman, Segun Odegbami and Barrister Adokiye Amasiemeka for details).”
When new Ministers are appointed, they do not bother to do better but carry go. In doing this, the Director General puts the Minister under his armpit. No woman has ever been appointed DG or Minister of Sports and maybe there will be a change
The rot is sports is aided and abetted by the Presidency, the Sports Committees of the Senate and the House of Representatives and by Ministers who are there to take not to give the best. I challenge any one of them to deny. The same goes for the top echelon of the staff of the NSC.
I led a power point presentation of a report on how Nigeria can realise his full potential in sports with less government funding and intervention to late President Musa Umar Yar’Adua. The late President was enthusistic, the then Vice President and now President was nonchalant.
Of course, the then Director General (Dr. Amos Adamu) and the present one (Chief Patrick Ekeji) convinced the corrupt Minister to kill the whole report even after approval by FEC.
Therefore, what we need is to put square pegs with integrity in square holes for the implementation of the recommendations in those series of reports and studies.
Why Toro’s committee was killed by the NFF
Three months after the inauguration of the Toro committee designed to oversee the restructuring of Nigerian football and proffer ways for progress, the board of the nation's apex football ruling body, quietly scuttled the activities of this committee headed by former Secretary - General of the NFA, Alhaji Sani Ahmed Toro.
Inside sources close to the NFF squealed that, “the decision to do away with the committee stems from perceived personal differences between the President of the Federation, Aminu Maigari and the head of the committee, Sani Ahmed Toro over claims that the former member of the House of Representatives is taking shine - off the board.
The NFF President was not comfortable with the positive image and comments the committee got from a section of the critical media when they released their website.
Another sin of Toro is the comments credited to him in Lagos during one of their sitting, where he allegedly indicted the present board over the way and manner they currently handle football administration in the country.
Our source further hinted that since then, things have not gone down well with the duo, as mutual suspicion existed between them.
Toro and Maigari, both from Bauchi state are said to still be nursing animosity from the last NFF election. Though, mutual friends had tried to mediate to no avail. Ironically, their family relationship is very tight.
Maigari was quoted to have told some of his close confidants in the Glass House that his decision to appoint Toro to head the committee was designed to rehabilitate him, not that he knows too much of what the Nigerian press claims he knew, adding that he (Maigari) is better qualified and positioned than him (Toro).
The sources further quoted the NFF boss to have said that Toro was privileged to be there at that time much was achieved in Nigerian football, otherwise what does he know about the administration of the round leather game?
The committee was starved of funds to carry out the tasks given to them. The entire budget submitted had been tactically dodged by the NFF board, to the extent that the committee was managed from contributions from members. That was the strategy used by the NFF to cripple its activities.
The NFF source said, the NFF Board felt that the demands of the committee were becoming overbearing; I don't think we can cope with this for so long anymore. So the best thing the chairman did was to quietly ask them to go, by denying them of funds. This is the only sign, to make them pack up their activities.
It will be recalled that the decision to set up the committee stems from the partial indictment handed over the board by the congress, in their last meeting, following the dismal performance of the national teams in both continental and global competitions.
The NFF was asked to explore other ideas on how best to develop the nation's football, since all indices appear to point to the fact that they have ran out of ideas on what to do.
The committee's composition received a blow following the dramatic pull out of Mumini Alao, the Managing Director of Complete Sport who refused to be dragged into the Committee, many had alleged was nothing but a window dressing, designed to buy credibility for the embattled board then
For the past three days, Toro’s phone had been off. A friend of his said he was on lesser hajj in Saudi Arabia. Maigari could be reached for comments on the matter.