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What Atiku’s Election As President Means For Sports In Nigeria – Dr Oche Otorkpa (photos)


What Atiku’s Election As President Means For Sports In Nigeria – Dr Oche Otorkpa (photos)

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The Deputy Director, Online Media for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Presidential Campaign Council, Dr. Oche Otorkpa (FRSPH–UK) has said that PDP’s presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar is the best choice Nigerians will make in the February 25th general election because Atiku will bring more development and unify the country including using sports.

According to him, Nigeria’s population is largely made up of youths between the ages of 18 and 35 and as such, the country needs a leader like Atiku who understands young people and has the ability to harness the energy in them through sports for greater development of the country.

Dr. Otorkpa said this in a statement to newsmen on Friday.

According to the Deputy Director, Atiku is a sports enthusiast whose manifesto also clearly contains concrete plans to revive the country’s sports sector which has been in failed state for decades.

He said with the support of his running mate, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa who is also a sports enthusiast, Atiku’s government, if elected, would reset the fortunes of the sector and “rekindle the hopes and aspirations of our people.”

His statement reads thus:

Nigerians agree that sports especially football is a major unifying factor in the country. When it comes to sports, Ahmed Musa, Nwankwo Kanu, and Rashidi Yekini belong to all irrespective of tribe, religion, or the part of the country they come from. The passion for sports here is deep and the commitment is total.

Young people constitute the bulk of sports enthusiasts on the planet and available data indicates that Nigeria has the largest population of youth globally, with a median age of 18.1 years. In Nigeria, about 70% of our population falls under the age of 30, and 42% are under the age of 15. The size and youthfulness of our population should naturally give us an edge in the global sporting arena.

However, despite the sea of talented young lads in our country and the inextinguishable passion of our people for sports, our nation continues to trail behind in major sporting events both on the African continent and the international scene.

Apart from serving as a unifying factor, sports in Nigeria is a huge goldmine whose economic potential has remained untapped by businesses and investors. Nigeria needs a leader who understands young people, a leader with good business acumen, and the ability to harness the energy of young people using sports as a tool to significantly boost government revenues and concurrently serve as a catalyst for reviving our dying economy.

The 2023 Presidential election offers our country and its young people the opportunity to elect such a leader, one with the capacity to RESET the fortunes of sports in our country and rekindle the hopes and aspirations of our people.

That leader is His Excellency Alhaji Atiku Abubakar the Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party. Lovers of the English Premier League as well as sports enthusiasts in Nigeria describe him as the undisputable champion of sports development in our country. When it comes to sports and youth development, Atiku towers above all other presidential candidates with none coming close.

A passionate Arsenal fan and follower of both local and major football leagues around the world, Atiku has never hidden his passion for the development of sports in Nigeria. As Vice President of Nigeria from 1999-2007, Atiku and President Obasanjo superintended over some of Nigeria’s greatest moments in sports development.

During that period they built the Abuja National Stadium, the Games Village, as well as the neighboring infrastructures which hosted the All Africa Games in October of 2003. The main structures used for that event are still being used today to host major sporting and non-sporting events in Nigeria.

Under the PDP Led administration of Obasanjo and Atiku, sports associations and federations no matter how small were rejigged while facilities at major stadiums in the country were also upgraded which enabled Nigeria and Ghana to jointly host the African Cup Of Nations (AFCON) in the year 2000, exactly twenty years after the nation first hosted the 12th edition of the prestigious African football competition in 1980.

Beyond the passion for sports, electing H.E Atiku Abubakar and Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa a first-class medical doctor and a star table tennis player will redefine sports as we know it in Nigeria because at the core of Atiku’s policy document is a national plan that seats well with sports in view of the fact that it seeks to restore Nigeria’s unity through equality, social justice, and cooperation, among various people which epitomizes what sports and sporting events stand for.

This Presidential election is a battle between a PDP candidate who fully understands a league table and the intricacies of sports and a confused APC candidate who dances reggae when the national anthem of his country is being played. May God Help Us To Help Ourselves on the 25th of February, 2023.