….Says room will be given for crises to be settled in national interest
Nigeria’s Minister of Sports Development, Senator John Owan Enoh will commence meetings with all sports federations in the country from today, Tuesday September 12, 2023 as he settles into office.
The meetings are part of strategies by the minister to reposition sports in Nigeria. They will also lead to withdrawal of all sports cases in court, to give room for settlements that favour national interest and that serve the interests of athletes.
Enoh said: “I have an open and neutral mind on the issue of sports cases that are in court. My meetings with all sports federations in the country will give me an opportunity to assess the federations one by one and see where there are disputes and also where there is normalcy.
“As a measure of goodwill and good faith, I will require that all disputes that are in court be withdrawn, so we can have a chance to resolve them as a ministry, he said.
The minister explained that when disputants are given an opportunity, it provides a window to resolve lingering issues in the interests of the sports and for the love of country.
“We spend so much time amongst sports administrators and federations in disputes and forget the athletes, who are the critical actors, competing for laurels. Without the athletes, all of the disputes and fights will make no meaning,” Enoh added.
He explained that his administration will focus on turning the tide, to place less emphasis on positions and offices, and instead place more attention on athletes and development.
“We cannot do the needful successfully (focus on athletes’ progression), if we do not put our house in order. I am open and available to every suggestion and approach that can help us solve the teething problems and lingering issues we are confronted with, to give us the result that we desire.”
A fortnight ago, the minister asked the Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Alhaji Ismaila Abubakar to direct all sports federations to submit full reports of their state of affairs, to open the door for further engagements and evaluation, starting this week.