It’s a New Year – 2023

For the first time in a long time, I am deliberately setting myself several New Year’s goals and resolutions, but anchored in one basic philosophy.

The philosophy is not to join the chorus of living and being carried away by the negative narratives of Nigeria. I have done it for far too long and have produced little to no results. So, it may be time to change the strategy.

We are already entering a period in the life of the country that is obviously going to be difficult, very challenging for all Nigerians, and a critical addition to the story of a country that is truly like no other on the planet, so abundantly blessed and same time, apparently, so ‘cursed’.

I have decided to start thinking about the future of Nigeria differently in the hope that the veil of underachievement and underachievement will be lifted from our eyes by new attitudes that will enable us to make new and better decisions. We must not carry the burden of the past onto the architecture of 2023.

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For several decades, the cobwebs of ignorance, politics, greed, corruption, and ethnicity have obstructed and blurred the original vision of a great country, one with very clear potential to become a global force in virtually every sphere. of human effort. Those cobwebs need to be removed so that we can clearly pick up all the evidence around us of Nigerians standing out in other countries benefiting from this rich source of human capacity of ours, which can be deployed at home to develop the Motherland.

Inside Nigeria, we play the game of life and governance with the citizens of our country’s Third XI, celebrating and deploying some of the least wealthy of our human stock to shape the future. Otherwise, there is no other way to explain Nigeria’s current poor state and dismal history. It’s a sin ‘a story told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, meaning nothing’.

To insist on our failed ways and processes is to keep wallowing in despair, depression, and inertia. Things got so “bad” towards the end of 2022 in sports that we had to continually ask ourselves the question: how much deeper can the country sink?

The answer came when Tobi Amusan Y That Mist it came to remind us of our latent and endless potentials by illuminating the ‘darkness’ in Athletics.

They clear away the cobwebs of 1972, when, to host the Pan-African Games, the Lagos National Stadium was built with world-class sports facilities in 28 different sports to serve as the basis for a true projectile of sports development. The icing on the cake was the establishment of a state-of-the-art sports science institute with clear goals and objectives. The National Sports Institute was the best institution of its kind in all of Africa, a replica of the German Sports Institute in Hennef, Germany, which to this day continues to provide capacity building training for sports technocrats, technicians and administrators from everywhere. the world. The Nigerian version is now a corpse, pretending to be alive, having lost essence, focus and direction.

In 2002, not a single one of the sports facilities from 1972 is in operation, not one!

Even the National Sports Institute, the sports education and development think tank that should be the builder of human capacity for sports development in the country, lies prostatic, irrelevant, lost in limbo, ‘as idle as a painted ship, on a painted ocean’.

Almost all the sports federations over 30 were performing at their lowest point. No sport thrived. Sponsorships from federations, programs and events were just a trickle. Facilities good enough to package sports for mass television consumption did not exist anywhere in the country, and sport without television is like tea without water and sugar.

Also read: The king is dead, long live the king! –Odegbami

Thus, there is little to draw from Nigeria’s past in sports anymore, not even lessons, because any thought about failures and missed opportunities simply adds to the waning of spirit, leaving genuine stakeholders wondering when and how the country derailed and came to this unfortunate Express; how the country got caught up in this torn web; how the country with its globally recognized potentials in other spheres and climates can be so unproductive, languishing in the swamp of underachievement and underachievement within its borders; how the country’s sports became infested with corruption in every fiber of its existing structures.

Nigerian sports history should be left and buried to avoid the embarrassing images and comments they provoke. Nigeria’s history is eloquently captured in Onyeka Onwenu’s famous television documentary ‘the squandering of wealth’a country so abundantly blessed and yet so sordid now.

So, here we are at the dawn of 2023.

I have decided to put an end to any unproductive ‘romance’ with sordid old tales from the worst of Nigerian sporting history.

I enter 2023 reminded of a new way forward into the future by the world record feats of Tobi Amusan and the incredible leaps of Ese Brume, two shining moments in dismay that have become indicators of new possibilities and potentials that have always existed for for Nigeria to become a major global player in sports, while developing a sports industry that will ‘feed’ millions of Nigerians. The evolution of a new policy of the National Sports Industry also provokes a new ‘song’ and message of hope from 2023.

Those are the basis of my New Years resolutions:

I will not curse the ‘darkness’ within Nigerian sport because it is there that the best rewards and treasures of success are found (but hidden).

I will be a match to light, or instigate the lighting of other candles that will illuminate and reveal the precious stones that ‘the dark and fathomless caves of the fur seal’.

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I will join innovative and creative thinkers and help sports rise from the rubble of past failures, and begin to chart new paths towards development through the implementation of new technologies and the entrepreneurial spirit of a younger, smarter generation. and with more technological knowledge.

I will join with others to revive the culture of sport within academic and sporting institutions, through events and programs aimed at discovering, training and producing new talent and athletes.

I will join forces with like-minded others to develop the sports industry that will feed off the talent and achievements of these emerging athletes, organizing, packaging, promoting and presenting world-class events and projects.

I will spend a lot of energy joining forces with colleagues and other stakeholders to establish a special fund and programs to cater for the well-being of retired and senior Nigerian athletes.

I will join others in implementing national policies that will reposition sport as a business in Nigeria.

I will pursue my ultimate dream in sports, laying the foundations of the bid and hosting the FIFA World Cup in 2034 with soft power diplomatic tools as basic ingredients.

I will bolster my personal projects with additional infrastructure to sustain them through the challenging period the world will pass through as the world is irreversibly challenged in an emerging new world order.

Finally, I enter 2023 with excitement at the prospects of what lies beneath the surface of the impending “chaos and turmoil” in the political and economic space that will usher in a new Nigeria from 2023.

Happy New Year!

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