By Albert Akota
The Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN) has described as a milestone development the appointment of former African sprints Queen Mary Onyali and the relocation of the office of Youths and Sports Development Minister Sunday Dare to the Moshood Abiola Stadium in Abuja.
The body, in a statement jointly signed by its president, Comrade Ahmed Aigbona, and Secretary General, Mr.Mike Oboh, in Abuja on Thursday, noted that Onyali’s appointment was akin to putting a square peg in a square hole.
SWAN also said it believes that the relocation to the stadium was a pointer that the Minister has the sincere interest of movin sports in the country to the next level in line with the aspirations of the Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government.
“The minister within his short stay has proved that he has what it takes to move sports to its rightful place in the country,” the statement quoted Dare as saying.
SWAN, while congratulating Onyali, charged her to bring to the table her wealth of experience to impart on the policy formulation and implementation of creative ideas to change some of the negative narratives in sports development.
“Now that we have Onyali there as an aide to the minister, we can roll out our drums to give her the desired support. We can all attest to the fact that she has been involved in sports development since her retirement from the tracks, with various initiatives projected towards producing world stars for the country.
“Expectedly we believe she will be an asset in the drive of the minister to change the tide positively,” the association said.
On the planned rehabilitation of facilities in the various government-owned stadia across the country, SWAN urged the minister to match words with action as this has been one area the country has lagged behind in the development of the sector.