Dalung wants Niger to adopt hockey as state sport
Sports Minister, Solomon Dalung has urged Governor Abubakar Sani Bello of Niger State to adopt the game of hockey as the state’s sports pet project.Dalung made the appeal at the weekend during the final of the Hockey Federation’s Super League between Niger Flickers and Police Machines held at the Abuja National Stadium.
Dalung implored other state governments to invest in any sport of their choice to reduce restiveness in their states.He said: “Your excellency, I want to passionately appeal to you and various state governments to develop interest in sports. The young people are the agitative constituency. The young people are restive but once you create an enabling environment for them, there will be no more security challenges. The best we can do is to deploy resources to sports development and engage these young people to be great champions, then there will be stability in this country.
“Today, wrestling is like a personal possession of Bayelsa State. Their state government has deployed resources to wrestling. No matter how many times you organize a wrestling championship, Bayelsa will win because they have invested in it. If Niger State has been winning in hockey, what will stop us from going to Niger as the home of hockey. I therefore implore your excellency, to deploy resources to building of infrastructure in Niger State, support the hockey team, open up the space and give football a very good challenge.
“I look forward to when hockey will be competing shoulder to shoulder with basketball and football.”The minister also congratulated the new board of the Nigeria Hockey Federation and charged them to embark on a wide search of membership for the hockey federation.
“There is so much for Nigeria to make in sports and government alone cannot drive sports to success. The private sector is a cardinal and key partner in sports development. We will create the enabling environment to ensure that the so-called autonomy is made perfect. Federations will be autonomous and they will source for funds and sponsorship, organize their competitions while government will continue to support with grants,” he said.
Dalung added that after the inauguration, the newly elected federations will henceforth make public their account books so that any interested investor will be guaranteed transparency and accountability.