The new Minister of Sports and Youth Development, Solomon Dalong, has reiterated his commitment to flush out corruption in the sports sector, with every resources at his disposal.
He disclosed this during a seminar organized by the FCT chapter of the Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN) at the National Stadium, Abuja, where he warned stakeholders in the sporting world not to visit him with any form of inducement.
Describing corruption as a cancer crippling the growth of Nigeria sports, Dalong vowed to step on toes in the execution of his duties, stressing that it is no longer going to be business as usual.
He challenged his administrators to live up to their responsibilities, in order to help sports development in the country as his administration is open to constructive criticism.
His words: “I operate from a rough environment but now that I am in a comfort zone, if there is no criticism I will be tempted to believe that something is wrong.
“I should be criticized, not because I am Solomon Dalong, but, because in my capacity as a decision-maker, I made decisions not in the best interest of Nigeria.
“The bad thing is where no decision is taken. However, if you see the need to publish, you must have my own side of the story. If you accuse me of anything, then you must have your facts straight. If you seek to be mischievous or blackmail me, we will call the law to help us sort it all out.
“I want us to fight corruption in this industry, because the stories of corruption in sports, particularly football, are alarming and discouraging.
“For me, I’ll do my best to stem out corruption from sports. I have appealed to the NSC DG and other directors that nobody should come near my house with ‘pregnant’ envelopes, with the intention to bribe me.
“You cannot misappropriate funds meant for sports and disgrace this country at international competitions and you come in the night as minister to bribe me with the money or buy house for me to keep quiet.
“Sports is a unifying factor, which brings this nation together and it is the corruption of the administrators that have frustrated many young people into getting involved in other means of livelihood, because the sports which they love so much have been messed up by corrupt people.
“I’ll not receive bribes and questionable gifts, because I will invite the law to reconcile you and me on that type of visit or gift.”