Elder Statesman, Chief Edwin Clarke has reportedly passed a vote of no confidence in Minister of Youth and Sports, Barr Solomon Dalung over his involvement in the NFF saga.
Clarke in a 3-page statement on Thursday urged the Buhari-led Government to fire the minister in the event that he refuses to resign.
His words: “I must maintain that, in the overall interest of the future of football, and indeed, sports generally, and for Nigeria to maintain its enviable position in Africa, and as we gradually make global impact in the game, it’s no longer a matter of discretion that, the Ministry of Sport is not a place for the likes of Mr. Solomon Dalung, as Minister.”
According to him, “I have followed with concern and keen interest, the unfolding developments at the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF), and have had cause to speak my strong comment on the unfortunate controversy rocking the Glass House, where I strongly advise that Mr. Solomon Dalung, current Minister of Sports, has no place in this Ministry, if Nigerian football must attain it’s expected height.”
Clark accused the Sports minister of “unfortunate foray into ethnic frolic, total disrespect and disloyalty in his open show of crass ignorance and incompetence, even when the then acting President Prof Yemi Osibanjo took positive steps in trying to settle the dispute, a move that saved the country from FIFA ban.
The Minister, he further said, also challenged the legality of the NFF Congress that took in Katsina yesterday, “as he has now committed greater atrocity by challenging the legality and appropriateness of the NFF Congress being held in Katsina, as scheduled”.
The Elders Statesman further question the Minister’s loyalty and service, who seems not frightened by the threat of the FIFA ban during the saga. He said: “as he does not recognise FIFA, in the first place, except his own parochial interest, one Mr. Chris Giwa, his kinsman, he is fighting tooth and nail surreptitiously to restore to Glass House, in defiance of a federal government directive to Department of State Services (DSS), to flush him and his remnants from the Glass House, Headquarters of the NFF and in disobedience to FIFA’s ban for a period of five years”.
“I repeat that, the Supreme Court did not give any definite judgment in favour of anybody, and therefore, very improper of the Minister to drag in the Supreme Court in his offensive statement. It must be reiterated, as I have always emphasised that, the unity of Nigeria is very paramount, and football is one of the contributory factors to this endeavour.”
The Minister who is the head of the supervisory committee for the football federation was absent in the elections yesterday. Two days prior, the Minister had claimed ignorance of the Elective congress. Reports have also emerged that the Minister had written to the Governor of Kastina state, Aminu Bello Masari not to allow the election hold in his state, claiming to have a Supreme Court ruling for Chris Giwa.