President of the Senate, David Mark, has stated that it is high time Nigeria used the power and passion of football to fight insecurity and disunity in the country, stressing that even Boko Haram members watch the game.
The Nigerian third citizen, who spoke during the
recent public hearing organised by the Senate Committee on Sports at the
National Assembly, also appealed to the disgruntled sports
administrators to quickly withdraw their cases from the courts in the
interest of the game and the country.
“We used to evolve a robust sporting policy to take us where we are. Our
young girls and boys need to be encouraged when they do well. There is
need to continuation of policy. Today if we change a sports minister
instead of continuing from where his predecessor stopped, he would
rather start discrediting his predecessor. We must learn to build on
what others have done.
“Before I conclude my rather lengthy address for obvious reason that I’m
very interested in sports, I want to remind us that the greatest
unifying factor in this country is sports. There are talks about
religion and regional issues among other differences, but sports is one
area we all agree. Once it involves sports, every Nigeria, irrespective
of where we come from will agree.
“I believe that even Boko Haram members do watch the game of football.
It is our unifying factor and we must begin to look at it from that
perspective. If we get it right, we would go a long way in uniting and
bringing peace in this country,” he noted. Appealing to the litigants,
the former military governor, said:
“Football is only a small fraction of this public hearing, but it is
very important. The big question those in court should ask is whether
the litigations can help Nigerian football. If it would not help us,
they should stop them.
“If they were there just for their personal interest in gains, then they
should withdraw the cases from the court. They should take national
interest to heart and give Nigerian interest the priority so that it is
just a matter of going to win in the court.
If they win in court and it does not help our sporting activities, there
is no access for the litigation,” Mark noted. He assured on the outcome
of hearing, stressing: “We will follow up whatever comes out of the
Senate public hearing because we are not doing it only for the National
Assembly, but for the whole nation and we need all hands to be on deck.