By Micheal Obasi
Sports Affairs Analyst/ Sports Presenter and Member APC Public Affairs Presidential Campaign Council
I have no doubt that the Sports Sector will be one of the biggest Beneficiaries if the APC Presidential Candidate Bola Ahmed Tinubu becomes the next President of Nigeria.
And when this happens , Nigerian Youths will be one of the top gainers of a Bola Tinubu Presidency.
We all know that one singular thing that undoubtedly unites our Country is Sports and Football in Particular.
So amongst many other equally important sectors , if the next President can get Nigeria Sport Sector functioning to her full Potential, then the Youth Population is secured and the safety of the Nation is further fortified.
Therefore Nigerians especially the Youth cannot afford to vote a President who has no tangible knack for Sports.
For many years , the Sports Sector has lagged behind because of Past Presidents who don’t know the Power of Sports and also don’t understand how to use its instrument in a multi- diversified Country like ours.
This is one aspect Asiwaju is miles ahead of the other Presidential candidates by his track records.
Who becomes the Sports Minister under the next Government is very critical because of the level of work the current Sports Minister Sunday Dare has done .
From the Adopt the Athletes Initiative to the Adopt the Pitch initiative to the Sports Industry Policy, just to mention but a few .
These initiatives have been yielding practical results, like the success of Team Nigeria at the 2022 Birmingham Games, where Nigeria posted her best ever Performance in the history of the Games.
The Athletes prior to the Games were also well taken care under the Adopt the Athletes initiatives and the entire Country and the whole World also stood still for Tobi Amusan’s World Championship feat in Athletics.
Now many stadiums across the country are wearing a new look , significantly the Abuja National stadium and the forgotten Lagos National Stadium in Surulere, thanks to the Adopt the Pitch Initiative of the Ministry of Sports under Sunday Dare.
It is very significant to quickly note that Sunday Dare is one of the many protégés of Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
Infact Tinubu personally handed him over to President Muhammadu Buhari to serve in his cabinet.
At Present, Sports is no more classified as Leisure but Business to drive more Corporate bodies involvement in the Country’s Sports with plenty incentives to them.
Lack of a suitable Structural and Legal Framework have been the reason for incessant crises in Nigeria Football over the years but the Ten Year Football Master Plan has been adjudged as the Permanent solution to this Problem if implemented.
All these are the achievements of Sunday Dare as Sports Minister but the bigger achievement is even the long term benefits of all of these Policies when they are sustained by the next Government.
But we know how badly we lack good transition of Policies as a Country from one Government to another.
This is one of the reasons why Nigeria cannot afford to jeopardize this transition which Will be seemless and smooth If Tinubu wins the Presidential Election on February 25th .
The Renewed Hope Manifesto of Bola Tinubu also encapsulates this on its Page 55 titled Sports Development.
Tinubu emphasized the need to run football as Business and under his Presidency, Corporate Nigeria will be given plenty incentives when they invest in the Sports Sector.
And this is on the same page with the Sports Industry Policy President Buhari recently approved.
The APC Presidential Candidate also talked about his plans to step up the Welfare of Nigerian Athletes in his Manifesto with an Athletes Welfare Scheme .
This is also in tandem with the Adopt the Athletes Initiatives of this Present Administration.
No other Presidential candidate is more equipped than Tinubu with suitable hands to handle the challenges of every sector including the Sports Sector.
This is one fact Nigerians must know going into the Polls in February.
He is structurally equipped with the kind of squad he has around him and Sports will benefit hugely because of this.
Gone are the days where People with zero to nothing knowledge about the Sports Sector are brought to head it, an address Nigerians will not want to go back to by voting Bola Ahmed Tinubu as their President.
Asiwaju’s love for Sports and Football has no rival amongst the other Presidential candidates.
This is why I am not surprised Football Legends like Austin Jay Jay Okocha, Victor Ikpeba, Daniel Amokachi and Kanu Nwankwo are unapologetically supporting him.
As far back as year 2000, Asiwaju came to the aide of Kanu Nwankwo who was looking for funding to start his Heart Foundation, guess who came to his rescue, it was Asiwaju not even his Igbo Political brothers.
Asiwaju gave him Five Million Naira which was the money he used to start the Kanu Heart Foundation .
According to him , the Heart Foundation has operated over 500 open Heart surgeries across Nigeria.
That is the kind of profile Asiwaju is bringing to Nigeria Sports if voted as President.
And the next four years when Tinubu will be finishing his first tenure as President, Nigeria would have featured at the 2026 FIFA World Cup in U.S.A, Canada and Mexico.
By then I will not be surprised if Nigeria surpasses it’s previous World Cup records by going all the way to the Semi Final because Asiwaju will provide Everything the NFF needs to achieve this.
He is a goal getter and that will drive him to achieving this and Nigerians will know their Hopes have actually been renewed.
Nigerians Call For More Women In Governance, Say It Will Reduce Corruption
Exasperated by rising corruption in Africa’s most populous country, stakeholders in the fight against corruption in Nigeria have identified adequate inclusion of women in governance as an antidote to public sector corruption while lamenting the government’s effort in implementing the revised National Gender Policy (NGP).
The call for the inclusion of more women in governance had been necessitated by the low representation of women in Nigeria’s governance structures.
Human rights lawyer Mary Musa led the call during PUBLIC CONSCIENCE, an anti-corruption radio programme produced by the Progressive Impact Organization for Community Development, PRIMORG, Wednesday in Abuja.
Speaking during the programme, Musa stated that Nigeria would be heading in the better direction if more women are deliberately handed opportunities in political leadership and public service as they embody the values, character and integrity, which is needed in building a corrupt-free nation.
She noted that Nigerian women are prudent and have been equipped to instill prudence, character and integrity in the mind of their children and can replicate these virtues in leadership positions.
“If we (government) put more women who are prudent in the government spaces, political spaces, corruption will reduce drastically because they are coming with values, character and integrity. We are not saying take any woman because she is a woman, we are saying take women who know what it means to be in political offices.
“If we select those women knowing they are influencers in their spaces doing fantastic and credible jobs with excellent value systems, Nigeria is headed for a better place.
“We have credible women, but they face barriers like sexual harassment at workplaces. Even in politics, we have a lot of women going into politics, but there are god-fathers who want to take advantage of the young women coming into politics. It’s beyond being credible and competent. It’s about creating an enabling environment for the woman to thrive,” Musa stressed.
On the government’s lacklustre approach on implementing the revised National Gender Policy, she revealed that the most effective tool in persuading the Federal Government to implement the policy remains sensitization, advocacy and peaceful protest.
Musa also regretted that implementation of the National Gender Policy is stifled by a lack of political will and urged the government to enforce the policy and place punitive measures on public offices that fail to align with the provisions of the revised NGP.
On her part, Communications Manager Mujidat Agbabiaka backed Nigerian women to do well if given more opportunities in leadership, emphasizing that women have what it takes to participate in leadership and make the country better. She added that women must be encouraged and empowered to take charge of administration because of their discipline and integrity.
Agbabiaka said, “We’ve seen women out there doing well in their leadership capacity and their homes are not broken. They still perform their maternal roles. They still take care of their families, their husband and children, immediate and extended families.”
Ahead of the 2023 general elections, she advised women not to sell their votes to politicians, urging them rather to study the manifestos of political parties and candidates in order to make informed decisions.
“We know the roles the politicians play in impoverishing the women further by giving them seasoning cubes and wrappers as if those things matter in politics and electioneering. We have said that these things are wrong and women should desist from accepting gifts but rather look inward into candidates and see what they are offering based on their manifestos.”
Some Nigerians who phoned into the programme from Abuja, the nation’s capital, alluded that Nigeria would be better governed and less corrupt if women were given more leadership opportunities owing to their antecedents from the home front.
PRIMORG and the Women’s Rights Advancement & Protection Alternative (WRAPA) are collaborating to promote the revised gender policy of the Federal Government for more opportunities for women in Nigeria.
Public Conscience is a syndicated weekly anti-corruption radio program used by PRIMORG to draw government and citizens’ attention to corruption and integrity issues in Nigeria.
The program has the support of the MacArthur Foundation
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