From Romanus Ugwu, Abuja


The rift between the Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Sports, Ekene Adams, and Minister of Sports Development, John Owan Enoh, deepened over the weekend as Arewa Youth Sports Forum berated Enoh over his tactics to discredit and deflect Ekene’s claims.

The group, in a statement signed by the Coordinator, Comrade Yohanna Pam, described the Sports Minister’s response as disappointing and a blatant attempt to divert attention from the substantive issues raised by the lawmaker.

Pam said:  “It is concerning to observe the recent statement issued by the Federal Ministry of Sports Development, specifically targeting Ekene Adams and questioning his credibility and sincerity. While the Ministry attempts to defend the Minister, Enoh, it is imperative to address certain points raised in the press statement.

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“First and foremost, it is disappointing to note the ministry’s attempt to discredit Adams based on his health issues. Implying that his health condition renders him incompetent and out of touch with reality is not only insensitive but a blatant attempt to divert attention from the substantive issues raised by the Reps member. It is crucial to remember that personal attacks have no place in constructive discourse, especially within the realm of public service.

“Furthermore, the ministry’s assertion and attempt to belittle the office that Adams represents, reflects a lack of understanding of the principles of democracy and the importance of upholding the dignity of elected representatives. Every individual elected, regardless of their office is higher than a political appointee.

    “Hence, lawmakers deserve to be treated with dignity and respect. The lack of transparency and accountability in Enoh’s approach to sports administration has raised concerns among stakeholders, including Hon. Adams, who has highlighted the need for a more responsible and competent leadership in the sector,” the Forum’s boss noted in the statement.

    The group urged the Sports Minister to stop blaming the Central Bank of Nigeria for the failure of foreign athletes to receive their payments, noting that his action is bringing the government of President Tinubu into disrepute.

    “Defending the Minister is understandable, it is essential to address the concerns raised by Adams in a transparent and respectful manner. Constructive dialogue and open communication are key to fostering trust and accountability in governance. Rather than addressing pressing issues such as the delayed payments to foreign athletes who excelled at the African Games in Ghana, as Adams questioned, the Minister resorted to assault on the lawmaker.

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