Elegbeleye: Caught in Politics of defiance | Independent Newspapers Limited
Newsletter subscribe


Elegbeleye: Caught in Politics of defiance

Posted: May 1, 2015 at 12:02 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Uzor Odigbo, Lagos


Last week, Hon. Gbenga Elegbeleye, was reportedly removed as Director-General of the National Sports Commission (NSC).

President Goodluck Jonathan, appointed Elegbeleye, NSC’s DG on May 15th 2013, after the erstwhile DG, Patrick Ekeji, retired from service. Not a few Nigerians are surprised by the sudden turn of event.Although for so long the sporting community has been inundated of alleged irreconcilable rift between Elegbeleye and the Minister of Sports, Tammy Danagogo since he replaced former minister, Bolaji Abdullahi at the commission.However the immediate cause of the removal of Elegbeleye is attributed to what NSC sources called “insubordination.”

man-in-the-newsA top NSC official that commented on condition of anonymity insisted that, “Everyone here in the commission knows that there has been long standing power tussle between the DG and the Minister. But the immediate cause of the redeployment of Hon. Elegbeleye was his refusal to carry out a directive from the minister that he (Elegbeleye) should revert to status quo some of the redeployments he made concerning two directors.

Impeccable sources revealed that all attempts to stop the removal of the former House of Representatives member from Ondo State failed, as the matter was termed ‘a closed case because of the directives from the presidency.’

Another source also gave different account of Elegbeleye’s removal, “We do not know the real reasons behind his removal, but it is not unconnected with some perceived differences with the sports minister.

“After Elegbeleye’s appointment, the minister, Dr. Tammy Danagogo, was not happy. He had preferred Yakmut, instead of Elegbeleye, who was then accounting officer. He may just have got his wish.

On Sunday the Commission confirmed the appointment of Al-Hassan Yakmut by President Goodluck Jonathan as acting director general of the Commission.And this was also acknowledged by the Sports Minister through his media aide via a two paragraph letter dated 16th April 2015 to the staff of the NSC advising them to comply accordingly.

Yakmut, until his new appointment, was the commission’s director of grassroots sports development.

Although, officially, no reason was advanced for Elegbelye’s removal, most stakeholders in the sports fraternity believe that there are numerous sports activities the former DG inherited and should have been allowed to supervise. The severally postponed National Sports Festival, All Africa Games and preparations for 2016 Olympic Games in Rio, Brazil are some of the activities waiting for the former DG’s attention.

One advantage stakeholders say Yakmut’s appointment will serve is that it will address the issue of keeping to the tradition of having seasoned professional and sports technocrat from within the directorate staff of the Commission to serve as administrative officer of the Commission.

Elegbeleye before his appointment as DG in 2013 was the Vice Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Sports, representing Akoko North of Ondo State.

He is a member of the Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP) in Ondo State. Before becoming a member of the House of Representatives from  2007 to 2011, he was a Local Government Chairman in his state.

While at the National Assembly, apart from serving on the House Committee on Sports, he was a member of the Dominic Oneya-led Football Reform Committee. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Osun State and is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Local Government and Public Administration. He is also a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants.