By Mike Omotosho
Twenty years ago, I was very self-centered and I would always decline any call to leadership under the guise of not being burdened with responsibility for others. It is funny that sometimes the things you run away from seem to be your path in life, I can confidently tell you that I have stopped running and in the process I have learnt a lot about service. I am indeed
very honoured to be trusted and saddled with this national duty because service is a special privilege and I am thankful to God for yet another opportunity. My special thanks also goes to the Office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Disability, Dr. Samuel Ankeli, who fished me and the other great comrades to serve on this Development Fund.
Additionally I need to thank the people who drove and delivered the project which is being inaugurated today: Nigeria Para Sports Development Fund. Undoubtedly, Chief (Dr.) Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu (MFR) has nurtured the Nigeria Sports Development Fund Inc. (NSDFI) since 1994 and has laid a solid foundation for us to build on.
The task ahead is not a small feat, fundraising especially in Nigeria is tough, and this is also happening at a difficult time in our Nation, however, we shall surpass expectation and accomplish our vision. The funds raised will be transparently used to develop leagues in para sports, create productive cooperatives for People With Disabilities (PWDs), and help them set sustainable vocational enterprises. For instance we propose to have farm steads and agricultural extensions in every state of the federation, the harvest will be off-taken and value-added with processes that will create new levels of employment for people
My team and I, are planting the seed that will make our nation become responsible to all its citizens so that no one is left behind.. We shall create social impacts that will bring wealth and economic independence to our people with higher abilities. Our objective is to showcase the amazing abilities that reside in our people with some form of disability and to make our nation consciously create an environment where they can thrive.
Once more, I believe that everyone on the Fund’s Governing Board feels really honoured just like me. We shall as a team, work hard and if it means going cap in hand to beg for the needful resources ( be it human, material, financial and others) to make this vision a massive success, we shall. We will engage members of the press to help communicate our vision and also keep us accountable because this is a social change we must all commit to.
We will go beyond the shores of this country to mobilise funds. We shall also bring a new support structure to all athletes in Para sports. Let me assure you, by the time we deliver the structures that will translate our dreams into reality, our nation will never remain the same again.
Thank you and God bless.
SPEECH DELIVERED BY DR MIKE OMOTOSHO AS THE CHAIRMAN, GOVERNING BOARD OF THE NIGERIA PARASPORTS DEVELOPMENT FUND INAUGURATION ON THURSDAY 2ND FEBRUARY 2017 AT THE FEDERAL SECRETARIAT, ABUJA.