The Guardian
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We Need Technocrat As Sports Minister, Coaches Tell Buhari




As President Muhammadu Buhari settles down for business, former Green Eagles winger, Adelabu Adegoke and head Coach of Nigeria Para-Powerlifting Federation, Prince Aare Feyisetan, say the new administration should toe a different line while appointing a minister for the sports sector.

The duo stated that the country’s sports had suffered so much damage in the hands of politicians, who had overseen the sector since the return of civilian government in 1999.

From the Chief Olusegun Obasanjo’s administration in 1999 till date, 13 politicians have held the portfolio as sports ministers. They are Damishi Sango, late Engr. Mark Aku, Steven Ibn Akiga (also late), Col. Musa Mohammed (rtd), Dr. Saidu Sambawa, Bala Ka’Oje, Abdulrahman Gimba, Sani Ndanusa, Alhaji Ibrahim Isa Bio, Prof. Taoheed Adedoja, Alhaji Yusuf Suleiman, Bolaji Abdullahi and Tamuno Danagogo.

In the good days of Nigerian sports, scores of companies, including Coca-Cola, Cadbury, Pepsi, Chevron, Nigerian Breweries and Elephant Cement fell over one another in their bid to key into the activities of the various sports federations.

Such sponsorship gave the players the opportunity to win various prizes as well as improve on their skills in preparation for major competitions. It also took the pressure of funding from government. But those good days are gone, leaving behind a dry period for the industry, no thanks to the activities of sports administrators, who capitalised on the ‘windfall’ from government to enrich themselves.

Adegoke told The Guardian that Buhari should appoint a sports minister, who is capable of wooing back private sector involvement in sports development.

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