Anyaoku calls on governments to empower Nigerian youths through sports
• Bright Stars win U -16 tournament
Former Commonwealth Secretary General, Emeka Anyaoku has called on the Federal and states’ governments to fashion out clear policies for youth empowerment in Nigeria, saying it is one way of creating sustainable development in the country.
Speaking at the grand finale of the Emeka Anyaoku Inter-State U-16 Cup held at the Campos Mini Stadium Lagos at the weekend, the retired diplomat described sports as a tool that, if well nurtured, that could take youths away from vices, which are inimical to the progress of the country.
In the final match of the competition, Bright Stars of Lagos State defeated Oshogbo United of Osun State 4-2 to win the tournament.Reacting to the impressive performance of the teams at the event, Anyaoku said the national football competition has helped to improve the attitude of the children in terms of teamwork and value of work pressure. He noted that the championship also gave the boys the opportunity to hone their skills in a competitive atmosphere.
He also praised the organisers of the championship, the Nigeria Youth Soccer Association, for their determination to continue promoting the game of football from the grassroots, saying that the Emeka Anyaoku tournament has produced players that have represented the country’s national team over the years.
“I thank all the teams that participated in the football championship for their determination to win. The finalists in the competition Bright Stars and Oshogbo United, who came first and second respectively, as well as the Kano team that emerged third, are worthy champions.”
“I am happy that the championship has assisted to develop the mental and physical wellbeing of the boys. The youths are the future of this country; special programmes should be put in place from all levels of government to empower them. “My vision is to ensure that this tournament continues to grow as it will go far to develop football at the grassroots level. I also thank Alhaji Nasiru Ado Bayero, chairman 9Mobile for gracing the occasion,” he said.