The Minister of Sports and Chairman of the National Sports Commission (NSC), Dr. Tamuno Danagogo has identified sports as a veritable tool for re-branding Nigeria’s image, boost national unity, serve as a bridge builder as well as foster peaceful co-existence in the country.
The Minister made this assertion, Thursday when he received in audience a delegation of the Nigeria Football Supporters Club led by its President-General Dr. Rafiu Oladipo.
According to him, “whenever there is a national or international sporting event, Nigerians forget their religion, ethnicity, gender, age, cultural divide and unite as one to support a common goal because sports redefines what we really are or stand for; a peace loving nation”.
The Minister noted that “without the presence of the indefatigable supporters club to spur and motivate the players to victory, the national players would be like orphans without a virile base or support.
He consequently urged them to continue to maintain the zeal and energy that would galvanize the spirit of excellence in our national teams.
Dr. Danagogo said that Nigeria was blessed at this time to have a President who is truly interested in sports development and pledged the government support to ensure that Nigeria attain a semi-final target.
Earlier in his remarks, the President-General of the Nigeria Football Supporters Club, Dr. Rafiu Oladipo said the club was at the NSC to congratulate the Minister on his well deserved appointment as well as to formally welcome him to “the seat that houses the cradle of unity in Nigeria” saying that “it is only when the National Sports Commission takes to the field that Nigerians come together in unity irrespective of tribe and tongue”.
Dr. Rafiu further stated that the NSC is the only government institution or establishment that inspires other countries of the world to think positively of the nation’s image.
Dr. Oladipo said that the supporters club will not relent in its efforts to continue to motivate our players and to this end he revealed that sometimes members even have to fast and pray for days for the success of our national teams.