Ladipo, SWAN chair set agenda for new Sports Minister



The new Minister of Sports Development, Senator John Enoh, must rally technocrats with genuine interest and love for sports development if he hopes to return Nigeria to its glory days in sports and succeed in his new designation.

This was the submission of the founder and President General of the Nigerian Football Supporters Club, Dr Rafiu Ladipo, as he joined other stakeholders and sports enthusiasts to welcome the new minister to the National Stadium, Surulere yesterday.

In the same vein, the Chairman of the Sports Writers Association of Nigeria Lagos Chapter, Olatutu Oladuni said her hopes and that of sports writers in Lagos and indeed Nigeria, is to see a better spirit of reinvigoration, of the undiluted and uncompromised spirit of service delivery, that will have direct impact of positivity and productivity on the sporting family and the sports sector in general.

Expatiating further, Dr. Ladipo said the new minister should not surround himself with mediocre and praise singers, whose sole aim is what they can gain for themselves.

He lamented the general state of the Sports City, saying it has become used and dump, which does not befit the history it carries.

“Quite frankly, the sports city has become a used and dumped stadium. A stadium that produced the likes of Odegbami, Chukwu, Okocha, Yekini and other great athletes shouldn’t have been left to deteriorate to that level.

“Many have said the solution is privatisation, but the government should do a thorough review of the situation, taking into cognisance the interest of the generality of Nigerians. If care is not taken, even the Abuja National Stadium may become like this, because we lack maintenance culture.”

Oladunni on her part also recommended a special welfare package for sportsmen and women, past and present, stressing that they’ve been neglected for a long.

“We should focus on their welfare, which includes support- technical and financial motivation, psychological as well as emotional. They also need proper education and reorientation to help them avoid issues of doping.

On why she decorated the minister and presented him with a gift, the SWAN chairman said: “That was for his sportsmanship, humility, warmth and accommodation.”