Abba Yola: Any nominee can serve as minister of sports

Immediate past minister of sports, Barrister Solomon Dalung answering questions when he visited the Corporate Headquarters of Daily Trust newspaper in Utako, Abuja

As reactions continue to trail President Muhammadu Buhari’s ministerial nominees, a former chieftain in the defunct National Sports Commission, NSC, Malam Abba Yola has said any of the nominees can handle the sports ministry.

The Senate yesterday released the names of 42 Nigerians who have been nominated by the President for screening as ministers.

Immediately the list was made public, some Nigerians expressed their reservations that none of the ministerial nominees will serve the best interest of sports.

However, Yola a former chairman of Kano Pillars Football Club and chairman NFF Technical Study Group said sports must not be handled by a professional.

“As long as someone’s name is on the list, he can be made sports minister. Anybody on the list can make a good minister of sports. The President mustn’t pick a sports personality as minister of sports.

“The responsibility falls within the purview of the President so anybody he appoints will be there. Once you make the list, you are good enough to head any of the ministries.

“There is nobody who will come out and say I have the highest degree in sports. Sports ministry is just like any other ministry,” he said.

Yola also said a minister’s primary responsibility is to implement government policies so anybody with the capacity to execute laid down sports policies can deliver as minister of sports.

He argued further that that some ministries require professionals to man them but sports does not fall under such specialised ministries.

“The duty of a minister is to get things done anywhere he is. His responsibility is to implement government policies on sports. He is not an athlete. He implements policies.

“During his time, Late President Shehu Shagari appointed a non lawyer as minister of Justice and the man did very well.

“So I want us to allow the President to decide who will be the next minister of Sports,” he advised.

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