The Chairman, Gray’s Football Club of Ede, Osun State, Dr. Tiamiyu Bello has identified wrong appointments, lack of clear cut sports policy, management and funding as impediments to the growth and development of sports in Nigeria.
Dr. Bello who dropped the hint while featuring as a guest speaker at the monthly stakeholders forum of the Sports Writers’ Association of Nigeria (SWAN), Osun State Chapter, held in Osogbo, said until these pressing issues are addressed, sports development in the country will perpetually remain at apogee.
The former Chairman of Ede North Local Government chided government for making sports ministry a dumping ground where anybody, irrespective of his qualification and experience are being deployed.
“There is no magic or miracle to make our sports develop until we put right pegs in the right holes. The growth of sports in Nigeria will remain static if the same situation persists. Those who don’t know anything about sports have continually been made Ministers and Commissioners of Sports while experienced ex-internationals, athletes and Sports journalists are snubbed.
"Having someone from the field of sports as Ministers and Commissioners of Sports means the problem is half solved as the person will know what needs to be done as and when due, even when the chips are down.”
" It is really sad that sports ministries and agencies are now dumping grounds for inexperienced political office seekers. These people don't know anything about sports and this is why sports business is not growing in the country. A lot of money comes into sports ministry that the federal government even aware. There are parts of the corruption that must be checked before sports can grow.
"There is a need for whistleblowing mechanism in the sports sector to expose this corruption.
“I want to implore governments at all levels to shift the paradigm and ensure that appointments at the sports ministries are exclusively for those from the sports circle,” said the former Special Adviser to the Immediate Past Governor Rauf Aregbesola.
Speaking on when sporting activities should resume in Nigeria as other countries are back on track with the drastic reduction in the Covid-19 cases, the Chief Medical Director of Bello Medical Centre, Kirikiri Town, Lagos said it was high time sporting activities resume in the country.
According to him, there was no reason for further delay in resumption since other sectors of the country are picking up already. He however added that there are certain measures sports administrators should take before sporting everts would kick-off fully.
Bello said, " There is nothing stopping sporting activities from picking up fully in Nigeria. The time is ripe and the delay is unnecessary. It ma surprise you that this delay might be a tactic for some people to keep fund for other purposes.
"Efforts should be made to conduct tests for players and athletes as it was done in the developed countries of the world. After this, those who are affected should be quarantined in line with the protocols while others should be allowed to return to field and start the new league seasons.”
Dr. Bello also urged the government to return the lost glory of sports through appropriate sports policy, personnel and facilities that can bring back healthy rivalries in Headmaster and Principals Cups, inter house athletic competitions among others where many sports legends are discovered and nurtured.
Bello lamented the abandonment of game village in Ijebu-Ijesa by the state government stressing that talents are wasting away in the state.
Corroborating Dr. Bello’s argument at the programme, the Acting Chairman, Osun Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Comrade Wasiu Ajadosu, linked wrong appointment as a high level of corruption by the government and a means of exposing the inefficiency and limited knowledge of the person in the portfolio assigned to him, leading to a serious political blunder.
In his goodwill message, the Chief Press Secretary to the Osun State Governor, Mr. Ismail Omipidan, a former General Secretary of Borno Chapter of SWAN, commended efforts of Osun SWAN in promoting sporting activities in the state.
Earlier in his opening remarks, Acting Chairman, Osun SWAN, Mr. Tope Alabi appealed to the state government to look into the demands of the association since almost a decade which would assist sports writers in their jobs of sports promotion.
Mr. Alabi also reiterated that Osun SWAN remains an important organ of NUJ that will continue to drive sports forward with high level of objectivity, fairness and accuracy, in line with the constitution of the association.