Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan of Delta State yesterday charged sports administrators as well sports lovers in the country to put the country’s interest before personal interest for Nigeria to collectively attain it sports potentials, urging them not to be overwhelmed by past victories.
Governor Uduaghan was speaking at the 69 Annual General Assembly of the Nigeria Football Federation holding in Warri, the commercial nerve of Delta State.
Uduaghan, represented by the state Deputy Governor, Prof Amos Utuama, said the 2013 particularly has been a year of triumph and victories for the country’s sports, as the country witnessed several victories ranging from being AFCON winner, under 17 world king and as well as qualifying for the 2014 world cup bill to hold in Brazil.
He said for Nigeria to fully attain its rightful place in global sports, there is urgent need for selflessness on the part of sports administrators involved in the decision making process in the country, adding that it is paramount for all to think of Nigeria first before self.
The Delta State governor who recently backed the best sports governor of the year, opined that “2013 ius a particularly unique year as the country triumphed in both the senior and junior levels. While the senior team, the Super Eagles, is current African Champions, the Under 17, Golden Eaglets conquered the world and became global champions.
“While we all bask in this euphoria, the times call for a serious reflection on the part of the NFF in the preparation for the 2014 World cup. All hands must be on deck to ensure our successful participation at the mundial. This is necessary as it has been widely acknowledged that it is easier to reach the top than it is to remain there.”
He noted further that, the state government firmly believes in the promotion of peace and enhancement of health through sports, assuring that the three point agenda of his administration is still very much on course.
“in pursuit of these , we have touched the lives of our people in very practical ways through our Micro Credit Scheme for which we have won several awards, the Youth Empowerment through Agriculture (YETA) Programme, the Free Maternal Health Programme, the Free Rural Health Programme, the Free Health Programme including the children aged 5 years and below,” he observed.
Meanwhile, the President of the Nigeria Football Federation, Alhaji Aminu Maigari said despite the various challenges facing the sports body, its recorded imminent victories in the outgoing year, thereby putting smiles in the faces of Nigerians.
Maigari said the country’s football highest decision making body will not relent but continue to yearn for more glories in 2014. He said ahead of the 2014 Brazil World Cup, they have already kick-start full preparations to enable the country achieve sucesses at various competitions.
“It is now 39 months since delegates to the General Assembly, in their collective wisdom opted to saddle my humble self and a number of other persons with the task of administering Nigeria football for a four-year term.
“I am happy to report back to you that despite serious challenges in the first year and odds mounted on our route beyond that period, we have been able to surmount and survive, and have emerged into the sunshine that puts a bright smile on our collective faces as we sit in this auditorium,” Maigari said.
He attributed the successes in the 2013 to hard work, perseverance, focus and diligence that had continue to work wonders; and the unity of the congress has been the giant stride under which they ride.
He commended Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan of Delta State for being very supportive to the body, as well as the several achievements he has recorded in area of sports and infrastructural development in the state.