Onukogu Kanayochuqu Jubal
Aspiring president of the Nigeria Cricket Federation (NCF), Engineer Emeka Onyeama, has called out to stakeholders in the nation’s sport sector vying for elective posts ahead of the June 13 zonal, vice-presidential and presidential elections to shun destructive politicking.
Onyeama expressed shock at the campaign of calumny against him, after he revealed his ambition to seek re-election into the office after the expiration of his first term in office.
He wondered why elections into the federation had become a do-or-die affair, such that some candidates opt for attacking others, rather than roll out their plans and allow delegates decide.
Onyeama pointed out the many successes recorded by the federation and reasoned that his desire to clinch a second-term was borne of the need to consolidate on what has been done.
“We have managed to reinstate cricket in the National School Sports curriculum which has seen students participating in the last three editions of the event. Also, we got cricket back into the NUGA, which is another platform we are holding strongly after we rejuvenated it and it is now waxing stronger.
“Cricket was the only team sport featured at the second edition of the National Youth Games held in Ilorin in 2016.”
These unprecedented achievements, Onyeama explained, were the results of well-orchestrated plans and the present board’s determination to rewrite the story of cricket across the West African sub-region.
“It has never happened before. Today, cricket is no longer a lesser sport but a sport to reckon with in Nigeria. Despite not making international participation and ranking by the International Cricket Council as its major goal, the Cricket President was quick to point that, “In addition to popularizing the game, earlier in the year, we were out there playing international tournaments. We have always been out there playing among countries.
“In as much as we have not gained promotion in recent days, it does not mean that we are not doing anything.”
He explained that with the increased popularity and the wide acceptance of Cricket in Nigeria, having a sustainable development in terms of future growth of the game will become achievable with the provision of facilities that can support that growth. Onyeama concluded by advising all stakeholders to shun destructive politicking ahead of the 2017 Sports Federations elections billed for May 30th.
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