By Pat Muo
Needless to welcome the president elect, Muhammadu Buhari to the Presidency. The Daura indigene had been there! Perhaps, one of the things he did not handle well was sports. His tenure as head of state was near uneventful-sports wise.
Nigeria got next to nothing in international football during his tenure as military ruler.
Today, back as a democratically elected president, Nigerians believe that Muhammadu Buhari must pay adequate attention to sports.
As a first step, Nigerians are tired of having inexperienced sports persons appointed as the nation’s ministers of sports. Clearly, most ministerial appointments in sports have been made in huge default. In the past eight tenures of administration of this country, almost all sports ministers were not known in sports circles until their names were announced! This has been embarrassing to sports followers.
“At a point, it appeared as if the position of sports minister in the Federal Executive Council had been reserved for use by the office of the president to settle his boys!
Buhari must change this. Sports is among the areas where Nigeria enjoys one of her best positive images and respect in the comity of nations.
Sports, like other aspects of life, has its professionals spanning administrators, coaches, players and technocrats. Constantly, our previous presidents and heads of state have demeaned these professionals by way of total neglect during appointments of sports ministers. Buhari must pay deep attention to this.
In the history of this nation, no president has appointed a minister of health outside the purview of the Nigeria Medical Association. Justice ministers have been chosen from among members of the Nigerian Bar Association. Ministers of Education had been picked from among practising professors or doctors in the educational sector.
No president or head of state of Nigeria had ever picked an Inspector General of Police from outside the Nigeria Police Force!
Need we say more? In getting a second chance, the Nigerian nation desires a change. The people of this country believe that Muhammadu Buhari represents that change. Appointment of an appropriate minister of sports from among the fleet of sports professionals might well be a pointer towards this.