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Celebrating an icon @56; Sunday Dare means much more than you ever imagined

May, 29 2022.

S- Sincerity Sincerity is his watchword... Ever since his appointment as Nigeria minister of youth and sports, Sunday Dare has played his card with high level of sincerity. He makes promises and fulfil them. He tries as much as he can to carry every one along but he is not afraid to hurt a friend if that friendship will stop him from doing what is right. At the very beginning, many thought he was a friend to one of the parties before and after the NBBF elections but Dare stood his ground when it truly matters and took a decision that was in the best interest of the sport.

U- Unity- He preaches one Nigeria and believes in the saying that a house divided against itself cannot stand. Ever since his coming as Nigeria minister of youth and sports, Dare has united the sporting family. The crisis in football has disappeared. Board members still have their grievances but they have worked together in the best interest of the game.

Today, the Athletics federation if Nigeria AFN, has become more united under the able leadership of governor Okowa, a man who got the nod of board members, to bring a new lease of life to the sport.

Key players of the Nigeria male and female basketball teams are united in their support for the minister despite the recent ban from international competitions initiated by the federal government.

N- Neutral- Dare has maintained a neutral position in policy and decision making. He is a man who doesn't take sides. No wonder, stakeholders have found it difficult to pin him down with allegations since assumption of office.

D- Dedicated- He is dedicated and diligent, dogged and determined. He came into office with a promise to change narratives and has achieved so much in just over three years. The renovation of the Moshood Abiola Stadium in Abuja was the highpoint of an administration that has seen so much outstanding achievements.

A stadium that was abandoned for well over 16years by the People's democratic Party (PDP Leadership) was renovated by the APC and given to the opposition free of charge to conduct their national primaries on Saturday.

Only Sunday Dare can do that. He takes nothing to heart and holds no grudges in the line of duty.

A- Accountability- Dare gives account of his stewardship in whatever capacity he finds himself. Just like APC Presidential aspirant Bola Tinubu said in a video that has gone viral, Dare is a man who doesn't take what doesn't belong to him. He is contented with his little and will not take a dime from public purse even if he doesn't have a dime on him. That tells the story of man who gives to ceazer what is ceazer. No wonder, at all time, he has come out clean in all his financial dealings with individuals and groups.

Y- Youth friendly-- Other ministers call him the father of Nigeria youths. His passion for youth liberation, emancipation and freedom is second to none. The.National youth investment programme NYI, which was conceptualized by president Mohammadu Buhari has continued to cater for millions of Nigeria youths, including sports journalists below 35years of age who have laudable ideas that needs government's support.

Nigeria youth Corpers are perhaps, one of the biggest beneficiaries od Sunday Dare's youth liberation. The NYSC Monthly stipends received a massive upgrade under the Sunday Dare administration and he has extended same love to other youth sectors as he desperately intends to make this world a better place for Nigeria youths.

D- Delivers He has delivered on all his promises. He promised to revive key dilapidated sporting structures in Nigeria and has gone about his work with.due diligence.

The Moshood Abiola National stadium in Abuja was a priority that has since been completed. The National stadium in Lagos is another priority that has received massive face-lift. The Daura sports complex is a promise made and accomplished while the increment in monthly allowances of youth Corpers is another pointer to the fact that when Dare makes promises, he delivers.

A- Amiable- He is loved, he is friendly and easily accessible. The Oyo state born administrator has no enemies. He goes about his job, trying not to please or offend anyone but determined to achieve the desired goal. In less than four years in office, he has built an enviable reputation for himself and looks destined for the very top.

R- Results Dare is not a friend of failure. He detests failure with a passion and under his administration, sports has thrived massively. Apart from the Super Eagles failure to qualify for the World Cup, Nigeria has made great impact in other sports.

Team Nigeria beat the achievements of the last sixteen years by winning a silver and bronze medal at the last Olympic games. The Paralympic team also made history with their exploits at the last Paralympic games in Tokyo Japan, while Nigeria athletes did not also disappoint at the World Athletics championship in Kenya. In Basketball, the male and female teams have continued to dominate. Same goes for wrestling and scrabble where the country's representatives performed excellently at continental and world championship.

E- Enduring- his legacies will endure forever. He has succeeded where others failed. He has taken time to touch many lives in just a short time. Even those who don't like his face are forced to accept the fact that Nigeria sports under the leadership of Sunday Dare has enjoyed a new lease of life and can only hope for greater things to come between now and when he eventually drops the baton in 2023.

On this auspicious occasion if his 56th birthday, the sporting media and indeed all genuine stakeholders, are united in wishing this hero of our time, a happy and prosperous birthday.


Adewale Ajayi

For Friends of Dare

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