*We shall do everything in our capacity to support you
By Sandra Onyekwere
Primary school system was the factory from where myriads of great athletes were discovered in our days. It is sad and regrettable that that factory was allowed to die and for the same generation to have thought it fit and proper under the aegis ofNigerian Sports Development Fund Inc (NSDFI) to help our nation back on its feet, our nation’s children and youth deserve you most and now.
These were the words of the Director-General of Nigerian Broadcasting Commission (NBC), Mallam Ishaq Moddibo Kawu when he received officials from the Nigerian Sports Development Fund Inc (NSDFI) led by the Acting Director General, Olajide Fashikun and the Executive Director (Technical) Chief Mary Onyali who paid him a courtesy visit at his office.
Kawu was all praises for Mary Onyali and her ilks who were products of the school system.
He drove his audience back to the ECWA sports centre in Ilorin which brought our generation to make up friendships which are genuine and have lasted us a lifetime.
Kawu, a well travelled broadcast reporter recalled how he first interviewed a petite, innocent, shy and brilliant young girl in 1985 in Ilorin where he foresaw the emergence of the woman who dominated Africa and delivered two memorable bronze medals and marked two decades presence in five consecutive Olympics.
Your plans are so deep and community-based which will spring up not just champions but can bring a new preoccupation that can keep our youths whose energies are not being tapped to be doing various sports.
He said of Onyali, “she was the darling face of African athletics in the 90s, represented Nigeria very well in her field of play yet was never dented with drugs related issue during her time.”
“Fashikun grew up in our presence, commanded the sports scene with authority and veered into journalism which he did so well. These are people who for having the opportunity to remain overseas decided to come back to their root to help re-arrange the sport industry and give hope to our future athletes.
“We all must rise and support them. In a couple of years to come, the fruits of their present efforts will germinate and make us a better nation we all can be proud of. Sports can help build Nigeria back by creating employment opportunities for the younger generation. “Nigeria is a young country with a population of over 190 million people and majority of us as young people with a lot of energy which can either be burnt positively or negatively”, he said.
The DG promised to support the project in many ways possible to help revive our sports industry and bring it back to the position we occupied back then when Nigerian Sports used to be the delight of everyone.