Nigeria’s General Abdullahi explains quest to head Africa’s Military Sports Council
Battles opponents from Algeria, Kenya, Guinea-Conakry
Nigeria’s Brigadier General Maikano Abdullahi, the Deputy Director of Sports at the Defence Headquarters, is among four contestants vying to become the next president of the Organisation of Military Sports in Africa (OSMA). His opponents are from Algeria, Kenya and Guinea .
The president of OSMA will be elected by 51 African member-countries at a General Assembly holding on October 7 via virtual and zooming conference. The winner of the contest automatically becomes the Vice President of the International Military Sports Council (CISM).
Brigadier General Abdullahi was the pioneer Secretary-General of OSMA. He was then a Lieutenant Colonel when the organisation was founded in 1994 by Nigeria’s Major General Ishola Williams (Rtd), and a Camerounian. It became fully operational in 2008 with the Headquarters in Yaoundé, Cameroun.
Speaking about his aspiration in Abuja, Abdullahi said Nigeria, as one of the strong pillars of CISM and the founding father of OSMA, deserves to produce the president of the organisation now.
Explaining that he is contesting for the OSMA presidency based on the recommendations and backing of the Chief of Defence Staff, General Abayomi Olonisakin and the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Tukur Buratai, Abdullahi promised to use the position to boost Nigeria’s image and facilitate military sports development in the country.
On his qualifications, the former basketball player for the Nigerian Army team said, “My vast experience in sports, fitness and training coupled with my participation in both National and International Military and Civil Sporting activities enhanced my nomination for this post.
“I am a fellow and member of National Association of Physical and Health Education Recreation Sports and Dance (NAPHER-SD). I have won several National and International Awards in Cameroun, Belgium, Burkina Faso, Niger and Republic of Guinea to mention but few.
“As a Senior Officer in Defence Headquarters Abuja and Deputy Director Sports, if given the mandate, I will project the good image of Nigeria better in both CISM and OSMA; promote Military Sports in Nigeria and Africa.
I will also ensure that our continent is adequately represented in all CISM sporting events and World General Assemblies and it will also give me the opportunity to promote sports and encourage good sporting relationship among the 51 African Countries.”
On the rivalry between Anglophone and Francophone African countries, which may come to play in the election, Abdullahi said the CDS has directed the Defence Intelligence Agency to communicate all Nigeria’s Defence Advisers to reach out to participating countries on the benefits that will accrue to OSMA if he is elected. Aside this, he noted that having served in Yaoundé, Cameroun as Secretary-General and Burkina Faso as Technical Officer of WALO, coupled with the fact he can communicate in English, French, Arabic and Hausa, he was sure of victory.
The only contestant he envisages will give him a tough time is the contestant from Kenya, who is also English speaking and may cause a split in the votes from Anglophone African countries.
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