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Of Rashid Balogun and the jobless sports 'stakeholder'

Sports is one sector where everyone can claim to be a stakeholder.  That’s because the passion we all have for the game. But even that does not give us the liberty to disrespect, ridicule and insult those who have responsibility to administer sports. While criticism if constructive and good intentioned can help sports and make administrators more productive, the bad-mouthing which is the usual fare in the sector is destructive and does no good except to pull down the administrators.

 

 This brings me to one Rashid Balogun.  I first came across his writing about a year ago.  It was a diatribe against someone I cannot recall. But the piece was so badly written; the language poor, filled with spelling and grammar errors that I thought no one would take him serious.  But the man seems unrelenting, posting one article after another and surprisingly some naïve people in the sports sector now reference him! This probably has boosted the man’s ego and feeling like the expert he is not, continued to feed us with his barely readable nonsense.

 

I believe it is time someone told him the truth. Mr. Balogun, you are a very poor writer and your arguments do not make sense, lacking logic and merit. You are like the family member who has a bad case of mouth odour and who no one has told the truth in order not to offend his sensibilities. But anyone who actually did would be doing a huge favour to Mr. Mouth Odour.  So here it is: Mr. Balogun, your articles stink to hell and do not make any sense.

 

 

But don’t take my word for it.  You can read Mr. Balogun’s nonsense in any of the online media that have mushroomed in the country.  He is so prolific at dishing it out that it is obvious that he does not have a day job. It is impossible for a person who is productively engaged to have the luxury of time to post the nonsense Mr. Balogun dishes out nearly every week.

 

 But if those articles make sense and somehow contribute to the development of sports, one can excuse the bad grammar and obvious lack of talents for writing. But they do not. Take the article he wrote sometime in April about “Dictator Ojo Oba takes over NSC (in palace coup).” Typical Balogun, the goal of that piece appears to be to set the Minister of Sports against Dr. Bolaji Ojo Oba, a Director in the Ministry. After several exhaustive readings, what I could glean from it is that Balogun picked issues with Dr Ojo Oba’s comment that secretaries of federations should prepare their handover notes ahead of their redeployment to the Ministry. According to him, this was in defiance of the minister’s directive that the secretaries are to be withdrawn! And so Ojo Oba was a ‘Dictator’ bent on taking over the Ministry from the Minister. What logic!

 

 

The simple truth is that both men were saying the same thing! What I gathered from my investigations was the minister thought it was essential to grant the Federations more autonomy, in which case they, and not the National Sports Commission, NSC, would be responsible for their secretariat. His argument was that the NSC couldn’t blame the Federations for poor performance if it is responsible for their administrative component, which is the job of the Secretaries. And this is a common argument amongst some stakeholders, how the Federations are not autonomous and are tied to the apron string of the NSC.  The minister thus felt it was necessary in line with best practices to free the NSC of this role and make the body play its natural function of making policies, supervising them and ensuring compliance. And the first step towards this was to recall the secretaries who are staff of the NSC. But before their eventual and inevitable recall, they were asked to prepare their handover notes. That was the case Ojo-Oba was making when he said the Secretaries had been told to prepare their handover notes. But Balogun turned this up side down and interpreted it to mean direct defiance of the minister.

 

 Well I am really not surprised, as the man seems incapable of understanding simple procedures. If he does, he would make sense in his writing and not write gibberish such as this:  “An attempt to bite the’ dust’ would not reflect a society norm but will certainly face the wrath of such normalcy. To be an athlete is not a norm but rather a symbol of eccentrics. Let me explain, less than 10% of our society considers themselves as athletes in their lifetime for whatever reason and majority of the population will ask for what purpose would a sprinter be running or who is pursuing him/her or why an individual is chasing after football.”

 

That is the introduction of a piece written by the semi illiterate Balogun who claims to be a Phd holder. Even though I read it 10 times, I could not understand the point he was trying to make. Reason why it grates me each time I read anything carrying his byline. The latest being on the Minister of Sports, Bolaji Abdullahi. I am sure the minister is capable of defending himself or has hired hands that can, but I think it necessary to expose Balogun for the fraud and charlatan that he is. In his latest piece, he attacked Abdullahi and Solomon Ogba, the President of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria, AFN, for using drug tainted American Ellenwood Garfield as coach. This is a blatant lie, which an ordinary Google check could have exposed.

 

Then Balogun seems to be obsessed with vacant position of Director General in the Commission, having sleepless nights over beer parlour rumour over whose names were submitted to fill the vacancy. Ogba is the second rumoured candidate he is attacking. I think he should wait for the Minister to officially declare the position vacant and submit prospective nominees to the President. As it is Balogun is doing a very bad job of being a paid pen.

 

 

By Tunde Akinlabi