The disappointing outing of the Nigeria Olympic team at the recently concluded competition in Brazil remains a candid reminder of the lacking administrative capabilities of the supervising officials at the realm of affairs at the respective ministries and quarters. The coming of the new administration under the Mohammed Buhari led All Progressive Congress (APC) appears to exacerbate the situation to near irreversible extent. Independent investigation conducted by 247ureports.com indicates that the senior Minister in charge of the sports and youths ministry may have been a strong mistake by the Buhari administration by placing a person with a questionable background and shady personality at the sensitive position of youth minister.
Solomon Dalung is reported to be an indigene of Tarrock in Langtang local government area in Plateau State. A Christian by religious faith. He is said to not have attended a formal schooling or secondary school. Sources in Jos who shared childhood with Dalung indicate that Dalung did not attend a formal secondary school or a formal university. During his formative years when his age mates attended secondary school he stayed home engaging in farming and other rural menial jobs. He never earned a school leaving certificate from any secondary school neither did he take home classes. The source indicates Dalung, after not having stepped foot in a classroom, boldly registered for GCE at a special center in Plateau State. Where he was aided to take the exams through special arrangement.
Prior to registering for the GCE, Dalung was said to have become a notorious youth leader who paraded himself as a super natural being who possessed mystic powers. He is often seen dressed in fabric with Zebra designs or designs of other wild animals. Often when he parades the community, he will be followed by local youths who will be beating drums and chanting praise songs behind him. Along the parade as he strolls, fights and altercation will occur, and his disciples will overpower who ever posed a threat to their master.
It was through this larger than life character and personality that brought Dalung to a noticeable platform and to notoriety amidst the ongoing communal clashes bedeviling the various communities inside Plateau State at the time. He immediately became the voice of the Fulani herdsmen and/or Fulani militia who were making violent and bloody encroachment into the many helpless communities in Plateau State. He became forceful in his defense of the violent Moslem incursion into Plateau State. His defense of the rampaging Fulanis earned him condemnations from his kinsmen while earning him support from the Muslim Arewa north. He was in turn given a broader platform by the Muslim north to spread the gospel against his kinsmen. He began making radio appearances and television appearance as the voice in support of Fulanis.
During this period, Dalung gained employment at a local prison as a prison warder through the help of his new Northern Muslim friends. His relationship with his new Northern alliance, in no time, began yielding dividends to Dalung. He even contested for LGA chairman position and lost. He had the finances and contacts to become a notable politician in the state. But he was hated by his people and loved by the Muslim Arewa north. Through his new connections, he enrolled for a law program at the University of Jos on part-time basis on a special arrangement where he would not need to attend classes at University of Jos. On the wings of his new friends, Dalung graduated from the law program. And he began answering a lawyer.
When the change campaign of Tinubu and Buhari came around, Dalung was quick to hop on the campaign train. Dalung’s new friends ensured he was fully carried along financially and otherwise. He was made head over other persons who were considered more senior in party hierarchy. And as the campaign ended with victory, the story did not change.
The APC stakeholders in Plateau State when asked by President Buhari to nominate a candidate for ministerial post, rejected Dalung and picked another candidate for the Plateau State slot. But the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) interjected insisting that Dalung be given the slot for Plateau State. The ACF saw the ministerial appointment as a fitting reward for their ally and friend. Their insistence on Dalung was stern and rigged that President Buhari had little choice but to give in. The stakeholders in plateau as expected were uneased with the development but had little choice but to play along hoping Dalung will be replaced after two years in office.
But recent developments have put doubts in their minds that Buhari would sack Dalung. The total debacle at Rio Brazil by the Nigeria sports administrators was expected to result in the immediate sacking of the sports minister or at minimum a rebuke by President Buhari. But none of the two happened. An insider with the presidency told 247ureports.com that the President has looked away from delegating blames to the sports minister. “All over the world it’s Olympics Committees that handle all Olympic preparation. International Olympics Committee does not deal with ministries but with national Olympics committee. In Nigeria we have the Nigerian Olympic Committee”.
The brazen action to commandeer the DSS to arrest the national youth leader in the person of Ikenga Imo over what he deemed as criticisms by the youth leader was tagged as the height of irresponsibility by the APC stakeholders in Abuja and Plateau. But the presidency has remained mute even after a court ruled the arrest and detention of the youth leader was illegal. The youth leader was awarded monetary judgement for the said illegal arrest and detention. Dalung has yet to offer an apology.
Dalung is reported to have ultimate faith in his godfathers – the Arewa Muslim north who have assured him that he needs not to worry – that the President will not act on him without consult them first. He was assured that they have the president’s ears and that the President will never dare to offend them.
Our source indicates that Mr. President and the Arewa friends of Dalung are aware of Dalung’s shady educational background. One of the prominent and vocal Muslim leader of the north has been quoted as saying that he is aware Dalung does not have a formal education. “But he is our horse”.