Dear sir, for the first time, I want to congratulate you on your election as president of our great country, the most populous black nation on earth. I want to also commend you on the onerous task of trying to rid our country of corrupt elements who have, no doubt held down our country from witnessing real development since independence almost 56 years ago.
You rightly noted during one of your numerous speeches that the fight against corruption was not going to be easy because “when you fight corruption, corruption will fight you back”.
This notwithstanding, it is my hope that you will not succumb to the antagonism of these corrupt elements and remain steadfast because no matter how hard they try, victory is assured and Nigeria will be the better for it.
You are not only fighting corruption but have also shown that you abhor injustice when you decided to redeem the promise you made to some of our sports men, precisely the world conquering Golden Eaglets of 1985, the very first of our global football heroes who were denied their reward owing to circumstances beyond your control at the time.
That you decided to redeem the promise you made to the young lads, now adults, 30 years after by divine favour that brought you back as one that God has chosen to take our country out of the Biblical Egypt.
This brings me to the magnanimous reward you showered on Nigerian athletes who won laurels at different competitions in 2015. One of the federations which brought honour to our country is the Nigeria Basketball Federation, NBBF through two of its teams, the senior national male team who won the Afrobasket (basketball’s Nations Cup) in Tunisia and the U-16 female team who won Silver in the African championship and thus qualified for the U-17 World Championship holding in Spain later in the year.
The reward system which was prepared by the National Sports Commission received some flaks from the basketball family who queried why their senior team got lesser reward compared to football’s U-17 team. The blame naturally went to the sports officials who may not have advised your office properly.
Surprisingly too, these officials removed the names of some officials who contributed to the success of the senior team in Tunisia and fraudulently inserted the names of some officials who were not part of the team.
Sir, while this was still being looked into, these officials again did the unthinkable, flouting your directive by short-paying the innocent U-16 players. Instead of the N400,000 you approved, each player was given N300,000 which they rejected any way.
The same officials are giving the basketball federation different reasons for the shortfall, stressing they have to get back to your office for another approval. We know this is just a cover up to pool wool over our eyes in a glaring case of fraud.
I am hoping that the Minister of Youth and Sports, Barr. Solomon Dalung who has consistently complained about the ‘fraudulent’ nature of the sports sector would be directed to order that full payments be made to the young players. Also those members of delegation of the senior team whose names were omitted should also get their dues so that your regime’s fight against corruption is not tainted by some unscrupulous officials.