The minister of youth and sports development, Mr Sunday Dare, has charged mixed martial artist and the reigning UFC Welterweight Champion, Kamaru Usman to use his clout to develop Martial Arts in Nigeria.
He gave the charge on Friday when he hosted the former freestyle wrestler in his office in Abuja.
Dare described the Nigeria’s nightmare with a staggering 19 wins out of 20 fights as a legend in the Welterweight category.
“Today we just hit another notch of excitement as a Ministry and as a country having Usman Kamaru who is nicknamed “Nightmare” for his opponents in the octagon in the country.
Kamaru who has a staggering 19 wins out of 20 fights has established himself as a legend in the Welterweight category. Kamaru embodies two cultures; Nigerian by birth and an American by immigration having moved to the USA at the age of 8 and is returning to the country for the first time as an adult,” Dare said.
The minister commended the wrestler for identifying fully with his father land and Ministry of Youth and Sports Development.
“It is commendable for you to have identified fully with your country and also the Ministry that has the mandate for sports development. The Ministry is concerned with the large number of youth who are engaged in sports and interested in your kind of sports because it has become a rave and it falls under the radar of the mixed martial art. We are concerned about growing it. Having you here, as the champion it will be great to have you headline that and start to see how at the national level and as a country we can work together to see your success remain and get other youths interested in this sport.”
“Your story is well told, you signify the Nigerian spirit being dogged and rising to the top, the feats you have achieved is no mean feat. For me I can’t say it enough; countries must leverage on their strength not dwell and emphasize their weaknesses and you have signed post the good from Nigeria.
“We celebrate you and thank you for being a true Nigerian and remaining patrotic not just to share your success but to identify with the country. The greatest beneficiaries of this visit will be the youth of the country who are interested in the Mixed Martial Art.”
Responding, Kamaru expressed his excitement to be given a rousing reception. “I’m delighted to be here and above all my visit to the country I aim at creating a long lasting relationship. I represent Martial art now and I want to work on making it easily accessible for everyone interested. I understand the responsibilities that I have with my platform and I want to put that to good use.
I want to be able to effect change and part of being able to effect change is creating that foundation so people can actually see a future, different from what they are now. I understand the restrictions but with my space I want to be able to create something that will pull interested people out.”