By Luminous Jannamike, ABUJA
President Muhammadu Buhari has charged the members of the National Youth Service Corps to pursue careers in sports and make Nigeria proud on the international scene.
He said this during the closing ceremony of the annual NYSC Sports and Cultural festival held at the MKO Abiola National Stadium in Abuja, on Thursday.
He commended the corps members for participating in the competition despite all odds and stressed the need for them to re-double efforts to attain professional recognition after their national service.
Buhari, who was represented by his Special Adviser on Sports Development and former Super Eagles star, Daniel Amokachi, said the Federal Government would continue to support them while reiterating the need for them to be dedicated and patriotic.
He also used the occasion to call for the participation of more youths, especially women and girls in sports in the country.
“Everyone that participated is a winner. Sports in Nigeria is religion, especially football. Everybody loves to play football.
“The government has always said, there is no bad football player. It only depends on what the coach needs for the formation he wants to play.
“All the support has already been given to the Honourable Minister of Youth and Sports Development, and if you can see the focus of the Minister since he came on board, it is on youth empowerment and sports. We hope to see more great Nigerians coming out of the NYSC to do more for the nation and make us proud,” he said.
Speaking also, Super Eagles coach, Gernot Rohr, tasked the corps members to always be at their best, saying that he would visit the various NYSC teams across the nation to scout for football talents.
Earlier, the NYSC Director-General, Shuaibu Ibrahim said the tournament was meant to serve as a platform for the exposure of the talents of corps members in track-and-field events.
He said, “The fiesta is also aimed at strengthening national unity integration to the interactions of the youth of diverse socio-cultural background in line with one of the objectives on the Scheme.
“I am happy to report that in the course of the competition, these young men and women showed great zeal not only for the purpose of winning laurels but, even more significantly, as a demonstration of their belief in our vision of an indivisible and more prosperous Nigeria.
“The coordination, discipline, resilience, teamwork and show of sportsmanship that characterized their conduct throughout the event has further strengthened our hopes in their leadership potentials. I am also confident that given this performance, a good number of these corps members will pursue successful careers in sports.”