Before I even start at all, I will want to say that the headline was carefully chosen, and I obviously believe it encapsulates all the characteristics of the happenings in sports circle in the state. It was chosen after a thorough study of the situation over time, and its progression, gradually. It is therefore, safe to say, there will be no apology whatsoever.
The sports development atmosphere is becoming something else, with gods, mini-gods, godfathers of a sort, rumour mongers, hired destroyers, morons, ignorant fools, educated illiterates, relevance seeking elements all swimming in the same pool. The mixture of products of all these variables will not but produce, and continue to produce, negativity at all spheres.
The fundamental principles of sports itself is unity. It is only a bastard that points to the direction of his father’s compound with the left hand, so says the Ancients. Unfortunately, many are now doing this, to either appease their pay-masters, or for moral or financial gains.
The poles of sports in the state are Kwara State Sports Commission, under which we have all Sports Associations, Kwara United Football Club, Kwara Football Academy, Kwara State Football Association and other privately owned outfits in various sports, especially football. But the bad blood that swims across all these pools can better be imagined. Added to all these are the attachments of Olofofos and relevance seeking people, who will always want to be good at all ends of the divides.
I will want to remind us that all the Chief Executive Officers in charge of various sports establishments were appointed by the government to advance the course of sports in the state. If that is so, we therefore, owe it a duty to the state, to work in harmony to promote the State of Harmony at all times. Kwara first.
We should minimize the entertainment of frivolities at the expense of realities. Just like my Oga, My Mentor, Bayour Issah will always say: “You cannot force respect, you can only earn it”. If that is the case, we need to always discuss the state and its progress in sports, not personality. These personalities are only holding the positions for government in trust, and we should see beyond them.
What we need to come together to deal with are the ignorant fools and morons among us, who pollute the system with their idiosyncrasies. Kwara Sports is beyond any human being or group. We should therefore, join hands to promote it, not continue to promote bad blood among ourselves.
I believe every establishment has rules, guidelines and limitations. And public property is not anybody’s family’s property at all. There is time for everything, just like there is limit and time for any appointment so given.
What we should rather work on is how to task the government to do more where it has not done enough, or has done little, and to praise the government where necessary.
Insulting ourselves or calling each other names, greeting ourselves with great enthusiasm outside and talking bad of ourselves at the back, and listening to hearsays from ignorant people will only continue to divide us further. Have we ever asked anybody who told us what Mr. A says about us what he also said at that point? Remember, communication is a two-way thing.
Some Chief Executives have tagged some people as enemies, whereas, they are not. They believe rumour carrying elements to those who can tell them the truth. Some of them characteristically hate the truth, and are always under threat when truth is told.
The state Governor, Mallam AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq has continued to demonstrate his love for sports through the provision of infrastructure and encouragement of participation in the system. That has continued to serve as a great opportunity for us to explore to the fullest.
The Indoor Sports Hall of the Kwara State Sports Commission has been there for a very long time without attention. To what extent have we persuaded the Governor that the renovation and modernization of the edifice will return the state to the mainstream in terms of hosting of national and international meets? The much touted eight court squash glass back is yet to be completed, and the Sports Commission, based on available figures, is being underfunded going by the functions it was established to perform. Have we really brought all these to the fore enough to get attention?
Since the introduction of the Sports Commission, how many athlete have we employed, and how many of them have attended international meets? Have we achieved above average result? To what level have we been able to explore the various opportunities in the private sector to advance our reputations in sports, to complement the efforts of the government? I bet we still have a long way to thread, beyond frivolities, beyond sentiment.
In history, Kwara United has not won the league since its introduction. If we are sincerely united as Kwarans, and begin to look beyond an individual, it will happen.
How many players have gone out for trials or have been signed by foreign clubs from the Kwara Football Academy in the last four years? Are we really serious in maximizing such opportunities to break new grounds? All these are the encouragements we need to give the government of the day, to reciprocate its huge investment in the development of the sector.
But to achieve these and many more, let’s do away with the various cobwebs surrounding all of us. Let’s expose them. Let’s start to ignore them. They are everywhere, you know them, yes, you do, and we all know them.
We should all remember, that all the facilities that is giving the state identity in sports since 70s were the legacies of some people. Today, we keep talking about the legacies of late George Agbazika Innih, Pa G. B. Ladipo and others in connection with all these. What legacy are we preparing to leave behind?
Kwara sports will rise again. The potentials are there. But we must work hard, and work together to protect our heritage.