Sunday Dare Calls On Influential Nigerians To Support Sports Development

The minister says influential people have a vital role to play in the development of sports in Nigeria.


The Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Mr Sunday Dare, has charged Nigerians occupying influential positions to use their platforms to contribute to sports development in the country.

At the unveiling of the 2021 edition of the Nanaye Dickson Traditional Wrestling Competition in Abuja, Mr Dare commended the efforts of the Senator representing Bayelsa West in the National Assembly, Senator Henry Seriake Dickson, and wants people with the same status to emulate him.

The Nanaye Dickson Traditional Wrestling Tournament is an annual sporting event launched in 2012, in honour of the memory of Senator Dickson’s late father, a community leader, an unbeaten wrestling champion, and promoter of the game in his time.

The championship has a major objective to promote grassroots Ijaw Traditional Wrestling, culture and also serve as a talent hunt for the youths of the state.

The minister recalled how the Federal Government adopted the annual wrestling classic initiated by the senator as a national event.

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“Senator Dickson has re-affirmed he is a lover of sports. He supported its development as the former Governor of Bayelsa State and now as a Senator,” he said.

Mr Dare urged members of the National Assembly to identify and focus development on a particular sport that has the prevalence of talents in their respective areas in order to produce a new generation of talented athletes in the country.

Bayelsa State has a track record of producing some of the nation’s finest wrestlers.


In his remarks, Senator Dickson said that his interest in sports and commitment to its development remain the same even after his administration which built a sports academy, sponsored a football tournament known as the Restoration Cup for eight years and the Nanaye Dickson Wrestling Classic which was adopted by the Federal Ministry of Sports.

He said the event will continue to honour wrestlers from Bayelsa and hope they will keep dominating the sport in Nigeria and the African continent. The state has the highest concentration of wrestling champions.

A major talking point from the event was the presentation of bank drafts of N2 million to Bayelsa-born Olympic Silver medallist, Blessing Oborodudu, and N500,000 to her coach, Mr. Victor Kode.

The President of Nigeria Wrestling Federation, Mr Daniel Igali, who was represented by the Vice President, Mr Christopher Amkpila, appreciated the Senator for his unwavering support towards the development of the sport.

According to Senator Dickson, the Henry Seriake Foundation, which unveiled the Nanaye Dickson Wrestling Tournament, is also the sponsor of the ongoing community-based grassroots football competition, the Ofuruma Pepe Cup, which involves 100 teams and 1000 young boys.

“As you all know, as governor of Bayelsa, I did my best to promote sports in all its ramifications. We established a sports academy, we have several young people who are receiving both academic training as well as exposure to sports development that is taking place even now.

“For eight years, we also sponsored a football tournament known as the Restoration Cup, and the products of that initiative are all over the world, and I want to thank my team for that. We also sponsor the wrestling classic named after me and my father.

“I’m grateful that your predecessor and you adopted our wrestling classic as a national classic. All the wrestlers in our country assemble there in readiness for international competitions,” he said

Chairman of the occasion, who is also the Chairman of the House Committee on Youth and Sports, Senator Obinna Ogba, called on politicians to emulate Senator Dickson stressing that no money invested in sports development is wasted.

Senator Ogba said he was not surprised that the former Governor decided to sustain his interest and investment in sports development even after leaving office because sports investment means investing in the future.

Rohr To Know Fate Next Week, Says Sports Minister

File photo: Nigerian Coach Gernot Rohr looks during the African Cup of Nations qualification match between Nigeria and Libya in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State in southern Nigeria, on October 13, 2018. PIUS UTOMI EKPEI / AFP


Super Eagles Head Coach, Gernot Rohr, will know his fate next week, the Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare, has said.

The minister gave the hint during the weekly ministerial briefing in Abuja on Thursday, days after Nigeria endured a nervy 1-1 draw with minnows, Cape Verde, to book a spot in the next round of the 2022 World Cup qualifiers.

Tuesday’s outing had renewed calls for the sacking of the German gaffer who has been in charge of the Super Eagles since 2016 but Dare said a decision on Rohr’s future would depend on a report to be submitted by the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) in the coming days.

According to him, the football body’s report would contain a review of the team’s performances in recent times.

His ministry follows due process in addressing issues concerning the national team and their coaching staff before actions are taken, Dare explained during the meeting organised by the presidential media team at the State House.

Dare has, however, assured of his ministry backing to ensure the three-time African champions make it to the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.


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 World Cup Qualifier: Rohr Happy To Have Ighalo For Cape Verde Clash

File photo: Nigeria’s players line up before the 2022 Qatar World Cup African qualifiers group 3 football match between Nigeria and the Central Africa Republic at the Teslim Balogun Stadium, in Surulere in Lagos State, on October 7, 2021. PIUS UTOMI EKPEI / AFP


The minister’s comment is the latest in reignited calls for the sack of the Super Eagles coach.

Nigeria’s recent performances, including a shocking home defeat to lowly-rated Central Africa Republic (CAR), were followed by a drab 1-1 draw against Cape Verde in Lagos.  That was enough to see Nigeria to the play-off stage of the qualification race for the quadrennial competition billed for the Middle East country.

Despite this, many football fans and former players, who have repeatedly expressed dissatisfaction with Rohr, claim he lacks the technical nous to lift the 1994 AFCON winners to the zenith of African football.

A Nigerian supporter dances during the 2022 Qatar World Cup African qualifiers group 3 football match between Nigeria and the Central Africa Republic at the Teslim Balogun Stadium, in Surulere in Lagos State, on October 7, 2021. PIUS UTOMI EKPEI / AFP


Rohr, is, however, enjoying the backing of the Glass House. According to the president of the NFF, Amaju Pinnick, the coach is staying abroad because most Eagles players are based in Europe.

While debates over the German’s future continue, fans are waiting with bated breathe to know Nigeria’s foes in the next round of qualifiers set to take place in March.

But before then, the Super Eagles will be heading to Cameroon for the AFCON, a tournament they last won in 2013.

No State Government Has Power To Sack Elected LG Chairman, Says Dare

The Minister of Youths and Sports Development, Sunday Dare, made an appearance on Channels TV on July 27, 2020.
The Minister of Youths and Sports Development, Sunday Dare



The Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Mr. Sunday Dare says Friday’s judgment by the Supreme Court declaring the sack of elected local governments executives in Oyo State by the state Governor, Mr. Seyi Makinde as “null and void” is a landmark achievement in the present government’s deliberate hard work to deepen democracy at the grassroots.

Mr. Dare noted that with the “ unsparing, unequivocal and unambiguous’’ judgment by the highest court in the land, it has now become crystal clear that no state government has the power to sack an elected council chairman or councilor, as correctly envisioned by President Muhammadu Buhari.

He commended the gallantry of the local government chairmen under the leadership of Prince Abass Ayodeji Alesinloye, stressing that their steadfastness and doggedness eventually paid off not only for themselves but for democracy as an institution at the grassroots.

The Minister also praised their legal team led by Chief Niyi Akintola for a thorough and painstaking legal battle fought almost gratis for the sake of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the cause of democracy.

Mr. Dare praised the immediate past Governor of the state, late Senator Abiola Ajimobi for his role in ensuring that due diligence was appropriately done in the conduct of the local government election and the profound leadership given to the local government executives in the pursuit of the case until his death.

The Minister said he was particularly elated that ‘’our party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari, the National Caretaker Chairman, Governor Mai Mala Buni and the Oyo State Caretaker Chairman, Chief Akin Oke was able to finally lay this issue bothering mainly on tyranny of power by state governors to rest.

While congratulating the chairmen and councilors, Mr. Dare urged them to remain totally committed and loyal to the party in order to collectively win back Oyo State for APC.

Reviewing 2013: It’s Been A Year Of Endorsements In Entertainment – Areh

The CEO of Wildflower PR, Omah Areh, has rated the Nigerian entertainment industry to have done very well during the year 2013.

Areh was a guest on the last edition of Rubbin’ Minds on Channels Television for the year, where she did a review of happenings during the year.

According to her, Nigerian musicians took their acts to the next level in 2013, considering how many of them had tours in foreign countries, most especially in Europe and North America.

Citing examples like P-Square, Iyanya, Flavour, Davido and many others, she said that the most notable part of this is not that they performed abroad, but that many of their concert tickets sold out, with massive crowds coming to watch them.

She also noted that the industry is now taken more seriously by Corporate Nigeria, as brands are appreciating the fact that there are a lot of things to be part of in the industry.

With telecom companies leading the pack, she commended the involvement of many local businesses in the industry; she said “It was a year of endorsements”. Afeez Oyetoro, popularly called Saka and his highly celebrated switch between two giant telecom brands was cited as example of the fact that brands have really taken the industry serious.

She added that at a point it looked like there were no more artistes without an endorsement deal. The artistes are now seen as brands themselves and companies are happy to identify with them as ambassadors.

She noted that the implication of this development is that more of these artistes now have better funds to invest in their careers and this has added to the quality of work being churned out from Nigeria.

“There are also more concerts” according to her, with singer, Dare’s ‘Love Like A Movie’ concert among the most eye catching in 2013.

She also noted that, beautiful actress, Omotola Jalade Ekehinde, being named by TIME Magazine among the world’s Top 100 influential people shows how much the entertainment industry grew in 2013.

There were expressions of hope that someday, concerts in Nigeria would be even greater with arenas fully packed with everyone standing.

On the gloomy side, the many deaths of Nigerian entertainers put a dent on Areh’s many reasons to celebrate the industry, especially with many of them being young people. Fatai Rolling Dollar, Justus Esiri, Goldie Havie, were among those mentioned with singer, Goldie’s drawing a lot of attention becasue she passed on at a time when she was just gaining prominence.

The industry also saw many weddings in 2013 but there were many crashed marriages too according to Areh. However she thinks that is nothing to frown about.

She advised that the art of peeping into people’s private lives is catching on in Nigeria because people find it amusing to see the privacy of their celebrities. She therefore expects that more Nigerian stars would take a cue from the likes of American superstar, Beyoncé (who shot a documentary of herself) and embrace the global trend of celebrity reality shows in 2014.