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April, 14 2023.

Credit: Michael Obasi.

It is not often that I get emotional when people leave office but for the Minister for Youth and Sports, Sunday Dare , I cannot but help it.

After the interview he granted Veteran Sports Broadcaster Mitchell Obi , it actually dawn on me that Sunday Dare will no longer be the Sports Minister from May 29th when a new Government will be inaugurated.

Dare in the interview said he is available to serve in any other capacity that the new President needs him

He said, “My Job is Done. My job is done as Sports Minister. I have put in my best and I am ready to move on".

Many Sports Ministers have come and gone but Sunday Dare will go down in history as one who did not just come but left a massive footprints of achievements and high standards.

Unarguably, I doubt if Nigeria Sports will get an Effective, Intelligent, Result oriented, Down to earth and Character disciplined Minister like Sunday Dare again . I really doubt .

It is very scarce for an average Nigerian Politician to posses all these qualities and that is why Dare will be greatly missed in the Sports Sector.

The Sports Minister is not just your typical Nigeria Politician but a sound individual whose knowledge base is exemplary vast.

This he used so well to tackle the issues surrounding the Sports sector, from Governance problem, to Policy challenges.

Dare was able to change the way Sports is seen in the Federal Executive Council and the priority that it deserves.

This alone is why Sports is no more seen as a leisure but serious business in Nigeria.

Nigeria will enjoy this more with the incoming Government and subsequent Governments.

As intelligent as previous Sports Ministers were ,they were unable to implement practical policies that yielded practical results.

We all celebrating how Nigeria Athletics is gradually returning to it's golden years after the success of Tobi Amusan last year and the performance at the Commonwealth Games but it was as a result of deliberate policies by Sunday Dare.

This was as a result of the Adopt the Athletes Initiative that brought better Corporate bodies involvement in our Sports.

Many of the Country's National Stadiums are wearing a new look , all thanks to the Adopt the Pitch initiative of the Sports Minister.

Business Moguls like Aligo Dangote and Baba Ijebu have been in Nigeria for many years but it took the administration of Sunday Dare to lure such men to key into the Country's Sports Infrastructural Development.

Another highpoint that has distinguished Sunday Dare from his predecessors is how he was able to stabilize the Sporting Federations.

Sports like Basketball, Athletics and football have suffered leadership crises over the years ,long before Dare became Sports minister but these Federations can boast of relative peace and sanity as Dare is leaving.

The Minister is even leaving the Country's football with a gift ; The Ten years football Master plan. A document if implemented will solve bulk of the problem facing the Nigeria Football Federation.

One unique character that further stands Dare out is his accessibility and openness to innovative ideas.

Dare understands the language of the young people and how they want to be treated but oftentimes in the past , Nigeria had Sports ministers who lacked this, hence their less effective results.

Sunday Dare also showed a rare feature of

Character Discipline in his dealings with the Various Sporting Federations.

The Sports Minister maintained a high level of character integrity which made him very bold in taking decisions that previous Ministers would have found it hard to take.

Currently the Nigeria League is undergoing reawakening under the Interim Management Committe, IMC, after years of stagnation, no thanks to the Sports Minister Sunday Dare.

Sunday Dare is definitely an enigma and a National asset that Nigeria Sports will miss but I am particularly happy that the incoming President Bola Tinubu knows his worth so much that he will still be very relevant in his incoming Government.

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