Curtain recently fell on the reign of Honourable Gbenga Elegbeleye as the Director General of the National Sports Commission (NSC) after he was removed from office by the outgoing President Goodluck Jonathan.
The former deputy chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Sports was redeployed from the NSC and replaced by Alhassan Yakmut who took over from him in an acting capacity.
His removal would not have come as a surprise had such happened after the swearing in of the incoming president retired Major General Mohammadu Buhari but the fact that he was removed barely two years in charge by the administration that brought in, ensures the development makes the headlines.
In this piece, Western Post gives an insight into what might have led to the removal the Ikare-Akoko born politician, revealing that the following reasons may have played big roles in the decision of the president to take such an action.
Athletes Revolt: Months to his eventual removal, there were issues involving the country’s athletes to various international competitions.
Some of these athletes were on different occasions visible in the media with their claims that they were not enjoying life despite hoisting the country’s flags in various sporting meets.
On few occasions, the athletes were complaining of not been well taken care of at the venue of events.
Recently, reports in the media concerning one of the country’s contingent to an international event held recently were disturbing, suggesting that athletes were not well kitted, not to even talk about funding them well.
The issue of not been well funded before and during events were often raised by these athletes who laid the blame on the door post of the DG, saying that he was doing little or nothing to make them feel comfortable.
Besides these allegations, most of the country’s contingent were unhappy with the failure of the presidency to either fulfill promises made to them after events or were not even received or honoured after putting in their best to make the country proud.
Sporting Federations Attitude:
Similarly, all could not said to be well between the various sporting associations and the former DG.
Just like the athletes, the boards of the sporting associations always had tales of owes regarding how they were being treated by the Sport Ministry with DG singled out as the main culprit.
Poor funding was the issue raised by most of the federations while some others were unhappy that their associations were neglected as they were not even listed for any international tournament.
Although Elegbeleye had a point on this, trying to make sure that only sport with the prospect of winning laurels are funded for international events to avert waste of funds, the aggrieved associations did not see anything positive about that, instead, they saw it as an attempts to ‘’kill’ their sports.
Non Involvement in Jonathan’s re-election campaigns:
Honourable Elegbeleye is a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and it was expected that he would drum up support for the return into office of the president.
However, his failure to publicly partake in campaigns for the Jonathan course may have also formed part of the reasons he was asked to leave as the DG of the NSC.
Unlike the Sport Minister, Tammy Danagogo who was conspicuous in some of the campaigns especially the ones organized By TAN in Rivers State, Elegbeleye did not make much appearance at the campaign grounds.
This, perhaps could be one of the reasons why the decision to sack him initially was taken before the president, owing to the intervention of some powerful forces, which upturned to redeployment.
Outcome of Presidential Election in Akoko: With Ondo State as one of the states the PDP banked on to give President Jonathan’ re-election bid a boost, nobody would have thought that things will go the way it went as the opposition party All Progressive Congress (APC) claimed the Sunshine State.
One of the zones that produced a shocking result was Akoko were Elegbeleye hails from.
The APC recorded a sweeping victory from the zone, thereby raising the question on the efforts made by the PDP bigwig to ensure victory for the president.
Frosty Relationship with Danagogo: This to many, was the main reason the DG was removed
The problem between the duo, according to findings has been on for long before the recent decision to separate them.
The feud, it was learnt bordered on appointment as the DG was alleged to have offended the minister by refusing to go his (Danagogo’s) ways,
He was accused to have played no means roles in delaying the renewal of Super Eagles coach Stephen Keshi’s contract just as he was alleged to have tried to stopped the Alhassan Yakmut from assuming office as the Director of the Federation of Elite Athletics Department (FEAD)as approved by the minister, following the retirement of Dr Bolaji Ojo-Oba from service in January this year.