Nigerians are outraged over recent comments by the Minister of Youth and Sports, Barrister Solomon Dalung that athletes don’t need much training to win medals at competitions once they have the winning mentality.
The minister who spoke on Brila FM radio early in the week to commend the efforts of Team Nigeria athletes who are winning medals at the on-going Rio Paralympics, said that the able bodied athletes who failed in Rio had the same shabby preparation with the special athletes but the difference was “the winning mentality the disabled athletes have.” However, readers on Vanguard online have descended heavily on the minister, some calling him unprintable names while others wondered why President Muhammadu Buhari is still keeping him. One reader by name Babrutus said sarcastically, “Why should anyone train in these days of internet technology? To win, all they need is to get on Facebook or YouTube and watch videos of the sport as well as study the technique of their rivals. I tire for Nigerian athletes self.” Dalung Tunji Olarewaju wrote “My President, sir, you need to sack, fire, shoot (which I’ll prefer) this drunkard from your cabinet, not ASAP, but like yesterday. This thing (Dalung) is the only mistake of your administration so far.” Another writing under the name The masked one said “I know even the Boys Scout to which this Sports Minister belongs to do a lot of physical training to keep fit how much more athletes preparing for a competition like Olympic Games. Does this Red Beret Scout know how many times Usain Bolt trains in a day with specialist trainees and medical hands despite his great potentials? No wonder he was asking Siasia to show him the coach of the U-23 Olympic team.” Okon more or less called for probe of funds released for the Rio Olympics in his post on the insult by the dishonourable minister of sports on the hardworking Nigerian athletes who wanted to lift the nation’s pride by doing well at the Olympics due to the national condemnation it has received and quite rightly too. All well-meaning Nigerians should condemn this minister. However, one needs to say most of the political class has brought misery and dishonour to the nation and the actions as well as inaction of this minister is a great insult to the nation. He should be giving explanation of how the billions of Naira voted for the Olympics was used. PMB came with message of change and hope for better. This minister has brought message of national disgrace and (is) unfit to be a minister of sports. Great nations devote resources both material and political for the success of their athletes and sportsmen and women and the so-called minister is busy bringing them and the nation down. The CHANGE should start with him and the time is NOW.