John Eli, the former Director of Sports in Enugu State Ministry of Youth’s and Sports, has urged the new Minister of Sports and Youth Development, Sunday Dare, to be passionate about sports.
Eli gave this advice in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Enugu on Thursday, saying that the new minister should avoid tribalism in all his performance.
“Although I do not know his background in sports but I know he is academically sound going by his academic background, he is a sound person and I hope he will capitalise on this good academic achievement to reposition sports.
“Dare should also appoint knowledgeable sports people as his advisers and he should dig deep into the sports archives.
“He should also seek advice from people with good track record in sports management and administration from the National Sports Commission (NISport),” he said.
The retired director said that “Dare’s predecessor, Solomon Dalung got it wrong when he became partisan and tribalistic.
Eli said that Dalung should not have been partisan and tribalistic in handling the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) crises during his tenure.
“Dalung should have mediated between the factions in NFF as a patriotic Nigerian with passion for sports; however, the new minister can use sports to foster unity in the country if he avoids taking sides.
“A good minister should use sports to foster unity in Nigeria and not taken side, so I advise Dare to see sports as a national issue.
“He must see sports as the most unifying factor in the country given the rate of crises, as you can see how everybody rallies round the national teams during tournaments and all become happy in victory.
“We are looking forward to see a situation where all the sports in the country will be taken proper care of.