“The sports minister has not been respecting the Senate. We cannot continue this way.”
Chairman of the Senate Committee on Sports, Senator Obinna Ogba, who made this complaint as he alleged that the Minister of Sports and Youth Development, Solomon Dalong failed to appear before it for a second time, gave the minister the last chance to appear before the committee on May 19.
“We are giving the minister a new date of Thursday next week to brief the Senate on the level of preparation for the Olympics.
“The Clerk of this committee is hereby directed to write a strongly worded letter to the minister inviting him to come here on Thursday.”
Ogba said that the committee would not entertain any excuses, adding that the minister had to brief the committee on the level of preparation for the Olympics, World Cup qualifiers, delay in appointing a new Super Eagles’ Coach and the crisis rocking the Nigeria Football Federation.
He decried the situation where the President of the Nigerian Football Federation would say something and the minister would counter it like they were operating in disunity.
He said that it appeared the minister lacked the political will to get rid of that crisis, saying: “Dalong is a minister and he is not to run the affairs of football federation.
“As a minister, his function is to supervise and not to run the day to day affairs of the federation.
“The NFF president would say he wants to employ a foreign coach and the minister would say he has not been given approval.
“It is not the duty of the minister to give approval or not to give approval. I was the first Vice President of NFA and I want to use this medium to tell the Hon. Minister of Sports what we want to do and not to get approval from him.
“Whoever runs the Nigeria Football Federation is elected and the person has the mandate of the people.”
A member of the committee, Senator Mao Ohuabunwa (PDP-Abia North), condemned the non-appearance of the minister, describing it as an insult.
“The absence of the Sports Minister at the Senate Committee on Sports invitation is an affront on the committee.
“The minister must be cautioned that he should not take the invitation of a Senate Committee for granted next time because the Nigerian people are represented by the lawmakers.”