24th July, 2018
Benin City, Nigeria…The Africa Network for Environment & Economic Justice, ANEEJ has called for a comprehensive investigation of the alleged case of money-for-CHAN-selection scandal involving the chief coach of the Nigerian Super Eagles Team B Coach, Salisu Yusuf, saying that the incident has the potential to either redeem or damn the integrity of sports administration in Nigeria if left to fester.
In recent times, there have been sundry cases of sports administrators in Ghana, Kenya and Russia asking for and receiving bribes and gratifications to either influence the outcomes of sports competitions or swing the level of participation in favour of certain players. BBC reports that over 100 referees and sports officials have been implicated in the saga now involving the Nigerian Chief Coach Salisu Yusuf.
‘Incidents like this cannot be allowed to continue especially in an area of human endeavour which places a high premium on the importance of fairness, openness, transparency and trust. Apart from betraying the values which team spiritedness that sports in general represent, cases of corruption in sports must be investigated so as to stem the ugly tide of graft in the sport sector’, ANEEJ executive director, the Rev David Ugolor said.
What is more, Nigeria is signatory to the Global Open Government Partnership, OGP, with commitments to work towards fiscal transparency, access to information, citizen participation and zero tolerance to corruption. Part of Nigeria’s commitment to work towards these thematic areas involves 13 focus areas and voluntary involvement in Global mechanisms which checkmate and nip cases of bribes and gratification in the bud before their occurrence.
‘As part of the plan to clean up the rot festering in sports administrative bodies in Nigeria and the world, ANEEJ suggests that Nigeria should take the lead and activate the Integrity pact component of its OGP commitment. An integrity pact prevents corruption in public institutions and makes provision for the involvement of CSO as monitors. Activating the Global integrity pact for Nigeria helps to ensure that sports institutions in Nigeria are subject to best practice and maximum transparency within the sector’, the Rev Ugolor maintained.