*Calls for return of National Sports Commission
By Olajide Fashikun, Benin-City
Professor Emmanuel Ojeme, the Provost of the Delta State College of Physical Education, Mosogar has chastised the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari, for giving the nation a minister, Solomon Dalung, who is ignorant of the development needs of the nation’s sports.
Prof Emmanuel Ojeme who delivered a paper at the Edo State Conference to reposition her sports in Benin-City which took place at the Randekhi hotel where he described
“If we want to make progress in sports in Nigeria, we need a Sports Commission. Why the Federal Government found it so convenient to scrap the National Sports Commission because it does not have a law backing it up, they gave us a minister who does not know his left from his right.”
The Federal Government should please return the National Sports Commission except we are not ready to do well in sports. Sports in down in Nigeria. The political leadership must be committed to the interests of the nation and in good time.
The Sports Commission should be placed under the Governor with a Director General who should be a qualified personnel with a law that will state its clear cut policies. The Board should not have an Executive Chairman whose members should be on part-time.
Earlier, Professor Fasan Clement, the Dean of the Faculty of Education, LASU also presented a paper to the conference.
In his contribution, President of the Nigerian Olympians Association, Prince Henry Amike titled “participation and grassroots sports” said, “most of us rose to stardom and possibly, riches because we come from very poor homes. Participation in sports helps to take away many people from the clutches of poverty and lack.”
He insisted that “incentives for athletes should be education and success. It should not be money. Edo state started the lead by creating an environment that helped athletes to reach stardom. Today, the situation has changed. Edo state has started again with a vision to change the bad situation for good.”
“I am sad that the record I set in 1987 is still standing. That means that our sports are not moving forward. Our nation should not go importing some foreign, old and outdated athletes because we want to boost immediate gains.”
“Welfare of athletes is a key to successful participation in sports. Proximity of facilities to the place of abode of the athletes is very important. Enabling equipment and right coaches will be part of the basic things required.
“Sports is one of the biggest industry in the world but not in Nigeria. Sports is about unity, community, education and partnership structure.