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Sunday Dare’s Monumental Disaster As Sports Minister (Part 1), By Sylvanus Ofekun

July 7, 2022

The Minister did set up a parallel AFN, and disregarded the constitutionally recognized AFN board, despite two concurrent courts judgments.

It is now an open secret that the reign of Mr. Sunday Akin Dare (SAD), as Minister of Sports is a monumental disaster, a miserable adventure and an embarrassment to the Federal Republic of Nigeria. He has successfully sunk the country’s sports sector to an unimaginable depth of despair, as against the little hope of optimism the sector hinged on before his appointment.


Dare has been a meddlesome interloper, a skillful sleeky dribbler and a higgledy –piggledy fellow with a racketeering mindset. The highly venerated office of a Minister is being treated with disdain, no thanks to SAD’s pettiness and incompetency. Twitter just did the needful, by removing the blue badge attached to his handle, because of his numerous blunders that negate the core values of the microblogging site.



His tactics is to woo individuals with contrary views, and if they fail to capitulate, he then employs legal threats. Infact, his hands are blessed with transmittable failure to anything he comes across; from the National Sports Festival, Olympics in Tokyo and other crisis rocking some sports federations are traceable to SAD.


 Dare started his administrative malfeasance with the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) in 2019, and then stretched his hands toward the Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF) in 2021; currently he is having a stopover at the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF). Certainly, any encounter with SAD ends with endless crisis and sadness. 


 In October 2019, less than 2 months in office, SAD ordered the sack of the former Technical Director of the AFN, Mr. Sunday Adeleye, citing poor performance of team Nigeria at the World Athletics Championships, held in Doha in September 2019. His directive was contained in a letter addressed to the President of the AFN, Engr. Shehu Ibrahim Gusau. A directive that he lacks the power to give (only the AFN Congress has such powers).


 “Consequent on the recommendation of the Advisory Committee, I am further directed to convey the directive of the Honourable Minister for the immediate removal from office of Mr. Sunday Adeleye as Technical Director of the AFN on account of ascertained gross misconduct.” Dare’s directive reads.


Engr.Gusau’s stance that the right thing should be done led to his persecution, as SAD employed various 'guerilla tactics' in an attempt to bring down an innocent man. The Minister did set up a parallel AFN, and disregarded the constitutionally recognized AFN board, despite two concurrent courts judgments.


Unfortnately, his action led to the disqualification of 10 Nigerian athletes for missing the three (3) compulsory Out of Competition Testing (OCT), as Mr. Sunday Akin Dare had been earlier notified about the consequences of not carrying out three out-of-competition Doping tests on all athletes competing at the Olympics level, eight months before the ban. The Ibrahim Gusau-led board drew the Ministry’s attention to Rule 15 of the Atheletics Integrity Unit (AIU) which classified Nigeria as a Category A Federation, but the minister turned a deaf ear to the warning bell in a bid to override and intimidate Gusau.


 Just before the 2021 Olympics, Mr. Sunday Akin Dare dissolved federation boards before expiration of their tenure, and then created a 3 man Caretaker Committee in each federation (an aberration). The Minister failed to explain the reason behind the dessolution. Although, some alleged that sole reason for the dissolution was to gain control of Olympic funds. This singular action of his, gave birth to the present day crisis in Basketball, because he created legal grounds for those who were not in sync with NBBF constitution.


Again, before the departure of the women’s basketball team DTigress to Tokyo, the former Team Manager Mactabene Amacheree had called out the sports Ministry for failing to pay them their entitlements for winning the women’s Afrobasket in 2017. It started like a rant but Ms Amacheree insisted that since the Minister had claimed that money owed basketball has been paid to the federation; this was the genesis of D’Tigress protests video that went viral late last year.


Despite not being paid their full entitlements, D’Tigress in early 2022 went to the World Cup Qualifiers in Serbia, and picked Africa's sole ticket. The 3 Peats obeyed the clarion to serve their fatherland with a condition to reject AFA Sport Kitt, as the deal is currently under investigation by anti graft agencies (it is alleged that the sports minister benefitted from the deal). Few months before the World cup, the Sports Ministry announced the withdrawal of Nigeria from international Basketball for two years on the orders of President Muhammadu Buhari, citing some elements whose tactics was to use the Federation of International Basketball Association (FIBA) to bully Nigeria. Again, this was globally condemned, but the Minister went ahead to inaugurate an Interim Management Committee (IMC), saddled with the responsibilities to oversee basketball in Nigeria. Then, FIBA announced that it has replaced Nigeria with Mali following the inability of Nigeria to confirm that it will participate at the World Cup in Sidney, Austrilia. Days later, the Ministry made a U turn and announced a return to international basketball.   


This state of confusion by the Sports Ministry was viewed by many as a personal vendetta against the D'Tigress, whose sin was their last year's outburst. Others, questioned the sincerity of the sports ministry in dealing with the crisis in basketball, after the fortunes he made from the game.


In his reaction, the immediate past minister of sports, Barr. Solomon Dalung said the action of his successor against D'Tigress was just a vendetta, as he queried why Dare has not paid the ladies despite the release of funds for that purpose .    


"The girls are being punished today for being patriotic. These are young girls that Nigeria did not invest a dime on. Their parents live out of this country. But out of sheer love and patriotism, they sacrificed to try to rebuild the image of this country and this is how their future has been ruined. I will agree with those speculating the Minister (Dare) is on a vendetta for the girls exposing the crises of honesty rocking the issue of their money which was applied and approval gotten by me." Dalung stated.


The former beret wearing Minister has consistently asked Dare to be bold, come clean and explain to the ladies (D’Tigress) the reason for not paying them in full, despite the release of two billion naira for that purpose.


Only recently, the Minister recruited some mediators to plead with some adversaries, especially those who petitioned him to anti graft agencies. For those who are unware, the Minister has plenty of cases at the anti graft agencies, with some cases dating back before he became Minister as one of his aide was detained for 6 days. Unfortunately for SAD, this aide of his, has left him out of anger.  


 In football, Nigerians should know that SAD was solely responsible for Nigeria not picking the 2022 world ticket; he ensured that Gernot Rohr was fired as the Technical Adviser of the Super Eagles; as this was against the wish of the Nigeria Football Federation, and also, forced the clash between the Super Eagles of Nigeria and the Blacks Stars of Ghana to be played at the MKO Abiola Stadium, Abuja, because he wants to make a political statement.




More details in part 2…………




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