Former Nigerian international, Segun Odegbami, has applauded the minister of youth and sports development, Mr Sunday Dare, for his efforts in repositioning Nigeria’s sports for improved performance.
Odegbami, who was a member of Nigeria’s victorious 1980 Africa Cup of Nations-winning side, in his Nigeria at 61 informative article, ‘Sports on a cliff – to plunge to death, or to learn to fly’ published in some national dailies, said the Sports Minister has been tinkering delicately with what has been developing positively for some time now in the resolution of the crisis in Nigerian sports, and the loss of all vestiges of sports development processes and institutions in the country.
According to him, Dare is gradually and steadily putting his act together, urging him to finish the race that is close to the end now of a journey that promises success and not to be deterred by empty threats from international bodies
“A new 30-year cycle has begun under Chief Sunday Dare. He must get it right by being courageous and finish what he believes to be right. He should not be fazed by empty threats by international bodies that preach non-interference but do so themselves by approving what is not their business to start and end with. Let the Minister keep doing his microscopic and forensic checks and inquiries. He is on the right path.
“He must get the sports federations to include articles in their new constitutions that are domesticated to operate in tandem with Nigerian laws, sports policies, genuine stakeholders, and a greater national agenda.
“International bodies don’t write constitutions for national federations, otherwise there would be a general one distributed to all countries. Each country creates its own constitution. It is a local matter, entirely. It attracts no international interference or approval, in the true sense, except where persons want to be mischievous and involve them in the process, a situation that has held Nigerian sports back for several decades,” Odegbami stated.
Odegbami wants the constitution of all sports federations to input and guidance and supervision of the Ministry of Sports for it to secure government support and a good relationship with government.
“Every Sports federation must therefore involve the ministry in the process of creating the constitution to ensure the best interest of the country, of genuine stakeholders, and indeed all interests reflecting a made-for-Nigeria document to guide Nigerian sports to achieve loftier heights and grander visions beyond medals and trophies.”