Minister of Youths and Sports, Solomon Dalung has charged Nigerian youths to participate in sporting activities and use it as a tool for self-development, peace, unity, self-sustainability and empowerment.
Dalung made the call in a statement on Saturday, in commemoration of the April 6 International Day of Sport for development and Peace across the world, by the General Assembly of the United Nations.
The Minister also enjoined government to curb poverty, youth restiveness and unemployment by giving sports its rightful place in the society.
“The future of Nigeria lies in its youths. Through sports, we can bring about peaceful co-existence in crisis-torn communities, employment, youth empowerment and self-reliance.
“Government should stop seeing sports as a recreation but as a tool that creates wealth, brings lasting peace to troubled areas and empowers the youths.”
The Minister called on the government to invest in the youths of the country through the upgrade and development of sports infrastructure, provision of enabling environment for young people to train and develop their talents as well as providing adequate budgetary allocations to the development of youth and sports in the country.
He urged all schools to build at least one sports infrastructure or adopt a sport to ensure that children develop interest in sports from a young age.
The International day for Sport Development and Peace is marked every April 6 to commemorate the inauguration of the first Olympic Games of the modern era that took place in Athens Greece in 1896.
In a statement by his special adviser on media, Nneka Anibeze, on Monday, the minister said the directive followed a written notification from the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, requesting the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports to ensure compliance with the court rulings on the matter.
Dalung said, ‘I have been directed to notify you of the orders dated June 5, 2018 made by Honorable Justice M. H. Kurya sitting at the Federal High Court, Jos, in respect of the above mentioned suit between Yahaya Adama Vs Alhaji Aminu Maigari which states that the election of the NFF held on August 26, 2014, under the leadership of Amb Chris Giwa be given recognition pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice filed in this case and that the purported ban of the Executive Committee elected on August 26, 2014, from football activities of the NFF is unconstitutional, null and void.”
“It is trite law that court orders are sacrosanct and any acts of disobedience to it constitutes threat to the rule of law. Consequent upon the above, you are hereby advised to comply with the orders of court made therein which for now, is the valid and binding order of court, in the absence of any other subsisting order or judgment to the contrary,” he added.
Hours after the statement, Giwa, who has since insisted that he is the duly elected president of the NFF, arrived at the NFF headquarters amid heavy security operatives to take control of the body.
It has been a legal tussle since Pinnick assumed office as the NFF President in 2014.
After a series of court rulings, the Supreme Court set aside the judgement of the Court of Appeal in Jos, Plateau State, on the discontinuation of the case on the leadership tussle in the football body.
The appeal court had held in 2016 that the case could no longer be relisted before the Federal High Court, having been earlier withdrawn by the appellants.
But a five-man panel led by the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen, unanimously set aside the judgment of the appellate court in late April 2018 and sent the case back to the Federal High Court where the trial started in 2014.
Giwa and some other persons had approached the Federal High Court, Jos, on September 19, 2014, arguing that the Pinnick-led executive was not the authentic NFF executive elected on August 26, 2014.
Dalung, however, called on state governments and the private sector to create an environment that will encourage sports development, especially at the grassroots level.
He thanked the organisers of the competition for a job well done, saying it is a platform to encourage the younger generation to believe in Nigeria and develop their sporting skills.
“This is the right foundation for sports development. young people must be introduced to sports at these stages and the beauty of it is that they are going to establish friendship right from here.
“The team playing spirit will also be developed here so that when they meet at the latter part of their lives, they are not meeting strangers. This is how significant things like these contribute to sports development,” the minister said.
While Nigerians continue to savour the recent victory of the Super Eagles over Argentina, the Minister of Youths and Sports Development, Solomon Dalung says the world should watch out as the Eagles are going to the world cup as contenders, not spectators.
Dalung, in Abuja on Wednesday, November 15 said the team’s victory was discussed and applauded at the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting chaired by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.
“The Federal Executive Council was officially informed that Nigeria had qualified for the World Cup in Russia 2018, having completed our match with Algeria.
“In our plans for Russia 2018, we have a driving philosophy. Our principle for 2018 is that Nigeria is not going to Russia as a spectator, we are contenders. The world should watch out for the new Nigerian soccer.”
Dalung said the outcome of the clash against Argentina on Tuesday, November 14 is a statement which is as a result of unity among the players and officials.
“From the outcome of what happened yesterday, there is no doubt that Nigeria has made a statement,’’ he said.
The Minister salutes the unity of purpose amongst players and officials as preparation for the global event continues.
The Federal Government has congratulated the President of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Amaju Pinnick, on his success at the just concluded Confederation of African Football (CAF) Executive Committee elections held on Thursday in Addis Ababa.
Pinnick defeated the incumbent Benin Republic’s Moucharafou Anjorin by 32 votes to 17 to emerge the third Nigerian to serve on the executive seat of CAF.
Nigeria’s Minister of Sports, Solomon Dalung, in a statement expressed delight that a Nigerian has joined the inner caucus of CAF after many years.
A Big Achievement
“When I became Minister, I asked why there was no Nigerian representative in the Executive Committee of CAF. With a population of over 170 million people, there was no way the CAF Executive Committee will be constituted without Nigerians as stakeholders.
“I encouraged the Federation to try and ensure that they are represented hence our support for the President of the NFF. This is a big achievement for Nigeria and our re-entry into African football politics,” Dalung said.
The Federal Government also congratulated Mr Ahmad Ahmad, following his election as the CAF President, but maintained it support for regional interest.
“Nigeria’s position remains in favour of our national interest but the will of the people has prevailed and we congratulate them all,” the statement said.
Mr Dalung advised the newly elected board to be magnanimous in victory and run an all-inclusive government.