As an ardent listener of BBC Hausa, DW Radio Radio France International, the name Solomon Dalung was not strange. He was unequivocal in his criticisms; in most cases disparaging the PDP led government of that time. His views and analysis were raw and repugnant, sandwiched in political opportunism which can best be described as “tell them what they want to hear.”
Dalung became a social commentator who subtly transformed himself from a “mere” law lecturer and legal greenhorn with no legal victory earned through wit and intelligence, to a “know it all” expert. He pontificates on economy, politics, social conflicts etc., though most at times, he succeeds in exposing his intellectual shallowness and naivety.
As if President Buhari knew the caliber of ministers he will be working with when he called his yet-to-be appointed ministers “noise-makers” in far away Paris during his state visit to the disgraced former President of France Francois Hollande. When Buhari tagged his ministers as ‘noise-makers’, it seems he had the likes of Dalung in mind.
Dalung did not disappoint the President in noise-making; he began during the ministerial screening on the floor of the senate where he exhibited malapropism of the highest order in answering questions posed to him by the senators.
The controversial sports minister Solomon Dalung has adequately represented the ever emerging and growing cynicism in this administration. For anyone conversant with his pseudo-intellectual and uninspiring policies that have so far torpedo the progress of a ministry that is supposedly meant to inspire the young minds in the country, someone wouldn’t be amazed whenever Solomon Selcap Dalung stages another drama.
I have carefully read and analyzed a recent piece “Leaders eat fat as citizens continue to starve: genocide, war crimes and crime against our collective well being” written by a corps member serving in Plateau State. The corps member worried about the future of his country and the growing disparity between the rich and the poor when it comes to resource distribution is inspired by a recent report. The report documented the unjust feeding expenses of our national looters on one hand and the deliberate starvation of school children and serving corps members in the country on the other hand.
I was curious to know whether the fearless corps member was serious about his vows to protest, so I placed a call to his mobile number only to learn that Dalung who has mastered the art of cynicism has succeeded in stopping the poor corps member from protesting the unjust disparity, ignoring the evidences and all the points raised by the brilliant Haruna Mohammed Salisu.
I understand that Mr Dalung will not be comfortable with any form of protest against Buhari’s meals in his state, but in view of the sheered incompetence, brutal disregard for dissent and the continued hallucination of the people he claim to serve, the Minister will not allow constructive criticisms to see the light of the day.
But for readers to properly understand and put into context the cynicisms from this boastful but intellectually and morally bankrupt Dalung, it is important to remind them of the catastrophic utterances, nauseating decisions and actions of the minister since he assumed office in 2015.
In what appears to be a national embarrassment, Mr Solomon Selcap Dalung brazenly disowned our U-23 soccer team when their flight arrangement was torpedoed despite prior notice and communication with the Team’s coach, Samson Siasia. The team was in a preparatory visit to the US ahead of the Rio-Olympics. Dalung’s treachery and sabotage didn’t stop the team from performing well, lest we forget, the team ended up defeating their opponent at the opening match in spite of their late arrival.
Again, history will remember Dalung as the first and hopefully the only minister in a desperate attempt to cover his incompetence and advance his well known cynicisms instructed John Mikel Obi, to take charge of the team’s coaching just because Mr. Siasia has alerted Nigerians and the World of hardships and psychological trauma our national team under Dalung were subjected to.
Nigerians may well remember that Mr Dalung who allegedly collected millions of naira in bribe from the deposed CAF President Issa Hayatou, brutally, against an earlier consensus, ordered though unsuccessfully Mr. Amaju Melvin Pinnick to vote for Mr. Hayatou. It was hitherto agreed that Nigeria will Support Madagascar’s Ahmad Ahmad, but the hypocritical minister wanted to twist the more cosmopolitan and sophisticated Pinnick.
The Minister, apparently to convince the President that he equally feels the economic hardships felt by Nigerians and to justify wearing his mischievous beret, Dalung, absurdly threw another bombshell to the glaring and condemnation of many Nigerians. In a brutal disregard to the importance of football being a unifying factor among Nigerians, Dalung shamelessly advised President Buhari not to allow Nigeria partake in the upcoming 2018 world cup slated to take place in Russia; his justification was that Nigeria was ‘too hungry’ and the hunger was glaring that the country might not win anything in the tournament.
As if that blunder wasn’t enough, the destitute of ideas in his show of lack of understanding of sporting events said to the amazement of Nigerians that “athletes don’t need training to win medals” only to be countered by a sensible athletes who made it clear that it was practically impossible for athletes to win medals with even “one or two months training”, adding that serious training was the secret of victory in any competition.
Nigerians will also remember that it is only Dalung that can favorably compete with Dame Patience Jonathan in mangling English words. In fact he can make a professor of English to shudder. Remember his “The funds spended were properly spended.”
The minister’s malversations and unforgivable bunkum in handling a supposedly serious ministry where superior ideas should thrive have struck the curiosity of many Nigerians. People were left confused as to whether Dalung was building or destroying sports in Nigeria. Their minds were prickled to interrogate whether the beret worshiper understood the level at which sports unify Nigerians and whether recession is a justification not to participate in sporting activities.
Stopping a corps member from protesting the ills in our society and threatening to deny him certificate is an outright aberration of Dalung’s pledge; “governance is a social responsibility and a democratic leader is equivalent to a human god, having the responsibility to determine the destiny of fellow human beings. He did not acquire power by conquest, strength or might but either by charisma, bureaucracy or law. There is an instrument that confers that power on him and is expected to exercise it within the parameter of the enabling authority.”
Hasn’t Dalung betrayed his above pledge by denying the corps member his constitutional right to express dissatisfaction against the growing injustice in our land?
Pascal Chijioke is a legal Practitioner based in Lagos. Pascalchijioke79@gmail.com