Tuesday, 8 January 2019

Unending Ego Trip Among Top Govt Officials Stalls Buhari's Hosting Of Victorious Super Falcons

President Muhammadu Buhari may be unable to host Nigeria’s senior women national football team, Super Falcons for winning the 2018 Africa Women Cup of Nations (AWCON) for record ninth time as Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari and the minister of Youth and Sports, Solomon Dalung are locked in a bitter battle for supremacy,sources has  reliably informed.

The cold war between the two top government officials has aggravated to an extent that it is beginning to take a toll on national sports and welfare of the athletes, source close to the government said. The row started last year when Dalung refused to recognise Amaju Pinnick as president of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) and reiterated his stand to obey Supreme Court’s judgment on April 27 which installed Ambassador Chris Giwa as NFF president.

However, Pinnick and his men, relying on the threat by FIFA to suspend Nigeria from its activities, used their connection within the presidency to secure the backing of the then acting president,Yemi Osinbajo and were able to get back to the office. Despite welcoming vice president Yemi Osinbajo’s intervention, Dalung is adamant about his resolve to respect the rule of law.

“This crisis cannot be solved with a temporary measure or scratched on the surface. The intervention of the Vice President should not be viewed as different from an attempt to abate an escalating situation,” Dalung said in a statement then. Since then the uneasy calm between the two continued when Abba Kyari, was at the head of the delegation of prominent Nigerians and top officials of the NFF that received the Super Falcons on arrival in Abuja after their 9th AWCON victory in Ghana, last month while the Sports Minister, Dalung was conspicuously absent.

“The president should have hosted Super Falcons since if not for the silent war between the Chief of Staff to the president and Sports Minister. The Chief of Staff wants the President to host Super Falcons as proof of his support for women and that was why he made Dangote and BUA chairman to donate cash to the girls.
“But there is no way the Chief of Staff would present Super Falcons to the President without the Sports Minister, and the Minister is not willing to seek approval of the President through the Chief of Staff to host the girls. That is the problem,” the source who pledged anonymity told LEADERSHIP Sports.

Super Falcons were crowned nine- time champions of Africa after defeating South African ladies on penalties in the final played in Ghana. Two countries qualified for the 2019 World Cup in France.

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