Immediate past Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Barrister Solomon Dalung, has revealed how he survived the various challenges during his tenure in office.
Dalung made the revelation yesterday, during his handover ceremony to the sports ministry’s permanent secretary in Abuja.
According to him, “I never expected to be nominated for a ministerial position. When I was posted to the Ministry of Youths and Sports Development, I knew where I was coming to. But I was determined and convinced I was going to make a difference,” he said.
“Despite the heavy criticisms being one of the most criticised minister from the sports sector, I still enjoyed working with the sports media despite headlines of ’Sack Dalung’.”
He further stated that he was out to end the power play in the ministry where the ministers’ tenures are decided by certain people.
“Making a difference was not in terms of performance but I told myself I would be an undertaker to correct one impression that has been given about the leadership in the ministry. And that is the concept that there are people who determine the days of the minister in the ministry.
“This ministry has the highest turnout of ministers, so many were sacked with damaging editorials. I asked God to use me as the undertaker so that the incoming ministers can have the confidence to work. I am thanking God that I am the longest-serving minister of Youth and Sports Development in Nigeria. As for my performance it is left to your judgment,” he said.
Speaking further, Dalung spoke on the high points and low points of his three and a half tenure.
“I will refer to the hosting of the National Sports Festival as the high point of my tenure because when I look back at how we were faced with the challenge of funding and how we navigated, I feel fulfilled.
“Another highpoint is the performance of the U-20 cricket team. We are not a cricket nation but the team became African champions. I will not forget the scrabble team and for the first time as Africans, we defeated the natives of the English language’’.
He, however, said he has no regrets other than to celebrate.