September, 11 2023.
_Says room will be given for crises to be settled in national interest_
Minister of Sports Development, Senator John Owan Enoh will commence engagements with all sports federations in the country on Tuesday, as he continues to holistically assess the state of affairs of all federations.
The efforts are part of series of strategies the minister is employing to reposition sports in the country. He stated that part of the process will involve the withdrawal of all sports cases in court, to give room for settlements that favours national interest and that serves the interests of athletes.
Enoh said that “I have an open and neutral mind on the issue of sports cases that are in court. My meeting with all sports federations in the country will give me an opportunity to assess the federations one by one and see where there are disputes, and also where there is normalcy”.
“As a measure of goodwill and good faith, I will require that all disputes that are in court be withdrawn, so we can have a chance to resolve them as a ministry”, he said.
The minister explained that when disputants are given an opportunity, it provides a window to resolve lingering issues in the interests of sports and for the love of the country.
“We spend so much time amongst sports administrators and federations in disputes and forget the athletes, who are the critical actors, competing for laurels. Without the athletes, all of the disputes and fights will make no meaning,” Enoh added.
He explained that his administration will focus on turning the tide to place less emphasis on positions and offices, and instead, place more attention on athletes and development.
“We cannot do the needful successfully (focus on athletes’ progression), if we do not put our house in order. I am open and available to every suggestion and approach that can help us solve the teething problems and lingering issues we are confronted with, to give us the result that we desire.”
A fortnight ago, the minister informed the Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Alhaji Ismaila Abubakar to direct all sports federations to submit a full report of their state of affairs, to open the door for further engagements and evaluation, starting this week.