By Nneka Ikem Anibeze
The Minister of Youth & Sport Development Solomon Dalung has called on the Inspector General of Police Ibrahim K. Idris to recruit sportsmen and women who excel in sports into the Nigerian Police Force.
Dalung made the call at the weekend when he visited the IG at the Louis Edet House, Police Force Headquarters in Abuja, when he went to solicit his support for the ‘One Service One Medal’ Games of the Military and Para-military coming up in Kaduna in November.
Dalung commended the IG of police for the positive and practical changes brought to security operations in Nigeria and the contribution of the Nigerian police to sports development calling on the Police to sustain and reward sports men and women through employment in the force.
“You may consider a recruitment policy that will target sportsmen and women. The Police should also consider the recruitment of young officers with sports background in various fields as this will go a long way to sustain the progress of the Police winning medals as it were in the past.”
The Minister thanked the Police Force for their enormous contributions to sports development in Nigeria.
“We commend the sponsorship of the IGP Queens who came third in the Zenith Women’s basketball league and the Police Baton in the men’s basketball league as well as the sponsorship of the Police Flickers who came second in the hockey league and will represent the country at the Nation’s cup in Egypt.
“You sponsored a team of policemen for operations to the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio as well as Inspector A. Olarewaju who is the African boxing champion. The Police team also went for the African Masters championship in Cote D’Ivoire recently, where they won 19 gold and 6 silver medals.
“We have always relied on the Nigerian police to produce athletes for international competitions. With you, we have seen the rising profile and the return of the police, thereby giving us hope that at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, the Police will give us not less than 5 athletes.”
Barrister Dalung also urged the Inspector General Police to upgrade its sports unit to a directorate as it has earned for itself the status of a directorate having won many medals for the country. He also solicited the use of the Police College in Kaduna for the games.
“In doing this, you will be encouraging young officers who will be participating in sports and continue to promote the image of the country through sports.
Responding, the Inspector General said the Police is committed to making the country proud in sports and security.
He promised to consider sportsmen while recruiting for the force.
“Sports is very important to all aspects of physical development. We recruit 31,000 personnel annually and we will allocate a percentage to sports. We will continue to give maximum support to sports projects and activities”, Idris said.
The Minister later presented 26 medals won by the Police at the African Masters and a plaque to the IG on behalf of the ministry.
The One Service One Medal Games is an initiative of the Ministry of Youth and Sports to harness talents in the military and paramilitary .
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