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Sunday Dare: Unmasking Nigeria’s New Sports Minister

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By Augustine Akhilomen

The appointment of Mr. Sunday Dare as the new Minister of Sports for Youths and Development by President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday may have come as a surprise to many sports-loving Nigerians.

He replaced former Sports Minister, Barrister, Solomon Dalung, who served only in Buhari’s first tenure as President.

Dare, who became the 35th Sports Minister in Nigerian sports history, wasted no time as he moved swiftly to work by joining the Nigerian contingents at the ongoing All Africa Games (AAG) in Rabat, Morocco on Thursday.

Although some sports pundits expected the President to appoint a minister with wide knowledge about sports in general, however, there seems to be some sense of hope that his administration would reshape the decadency nature of sports in Nigeria.

Interestingly, many people in 2018/2019 only knew Dare as Executive Commissioner (stakeholder management) of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC). But before any of that, Dare was an outstanding journalist in his core.

He was a reporter/columnist with The Nation magazine in New York and a production editor/writer with the European funded Fourth Estate magazine, before he served as general editor of The News and Tempo, two of Nigeria’s independent weekly news magazines based in Lagos.

Having graduated with a Bachelor of Science (BSc.) in International Studies from Ahmadu Bello University in 1991, Dare proceeded to obtain a Master of Arts in Law and Diplomacy from the University of Jos. He was a Freedom Forum Fellow and Visiting Scholar, School of Journalism – New York University (NYU) in 1998.

After achieving that degree, he went further to Harvard University under the prestigious Harvard Nieman Journalism Fellowship between 2000 and 2001 where he studied Media and Public Policy.

He has decades of multimedia journalism experience spanning about 25 years (1991 and 2016) when he was nominated as executive commissioner. He was the chief, Hausa Service, African Division, Voice of America (VOA) in Washington, DC from 2001 to 2009, where, apart from directing the production of radio and online broadcast news and programs daily, he designed and implemented the adoption of new IT and Telecoms tools for international radio news-gathering and information dissemination to boost audience size and expand reach.

In 2009, he became Senior Special Assistant (media)/Chief of Staff to the minister of information and communications during which he guided decisions on all media and communications related matters, government information dissemination and media policies under the purview of the ministry.

The soft-spoken minister is a recipient of many awards and has been recognized internationally, including being identified as one of the 50 Leading Nigerians in North America 2010 in commemoration of Nigeria’s 50th Anniversary. 13. He also won the Voice of America Meritorious Honor Award 2009 in recognition of his skillful leadership and outstanding performance, and he also bagged a Committee to Protect Journalists Citation in 2000 by the New York-based organization in acknowledgment of his courage as a journalist.

By and large, the new Sports Minister may know little about sports; however, there is always room for understanding and improvement in order to achieve the desired results.

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Don’t Leave Nigeria To Those Messing Up The Country, Obasanjo Begs Nigerian Youths As He Offers Free Keke Ride

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Former President, Olusegun Obasanjo, was behind the wheels of a tricycle (Keke) on Saturday.

Obj, as fondly called, rode through some roads in Abeokuta, capital of Ogun, to pick passengers.

The sight caught the attention of many who cheered the former Head of State and also took photos.

The elder statesman, who offered rides to citizens, moved through Moshood Abiola, NNPC Mega Station, Kuto Market, among others.

The activity was part of OBJ @ 85 Free Keke Programme of the Youth Development Centre of Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library (OOPL).

In his remarks, Obasanjo appealed to the youths not to leave Nigeria to those messing it up.

The ex-leader said despite the challenges, they should try to take advantage of available opportunities to make an impact.

“Things are not what they should be but youths, individually and collectively, must make contributions in order to make things the way they should be.

“If you leave things to those who are messing it up for you and who are saying you are the leaders of tomorrow, you will never have that tomorrow.

“God has given you innate ability to be what He wants you to be. If you make up your mind, God will help you and provide people who would help you”, he added.

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We Must Fix Nigeria, Stop Europe-Bound Migrants Through Desert – Shettima

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Former Governor of Borno State, Kashim Shettima, has decried the migration of Nigerians to European countries for greener pastures through Libya.

The PUNCH reports that no fewer than 774 stranded Nigerians have been repatriated from Libya between August ,2021 and June 1, 2022.

But Shettima believed that the country must be fixed to put a stop to migration of citizens crossing through the desert from Nigeria to Libya with the hope of getting to Europe.

He spoke at the investiture ceremony of the Managing Editor, Northern Operations of The Nation newspapers, Yusuf Ali, as the 11th president of the Rotary club of Abuja, Maitama.

Shettima, however, called for the unity of Nigerians to overcome the challenges bedeviling the country.

He said, “We have to make this country work. Nigerians would not need to go through Libya to get to Europe for survival. I believe if we are united Nigeria will survive and that is why I am proud of the Rotary club.”

Shettima also urged Nigerians to dedicate their lives to service to humanity, adding that ‘individualism, and worship of money’ were making life unpleasant in the country.


He said, “Every lifetime, that has been dedicated to professional excellence and community good, represents the type of life, that we must valorise, especially given how much we have become swamped, by an inordinate worship of the cult of money; individualism, and a crass materialism, that has increasingly made life so nasty, brutish and short, in our country, to borrow the words of the Political Philosopher, Thomas Hobbes.”

When asked about the jostle for the vice presidential candidate of the APC, Shettima declined comment.

He said, ” This is a non partisan event it will be an insult to make a political comment here. At the appropriate time we will talk politics.”

In his remarks, Ali called on the government to ensure Nigerians have access to basic infrastructures.

He warned that failure to do this would spell doom for the nation.

Ali said, “Unless all Nigerians have access to basic needs, we won’t be able to make it as a nation. We have abundant human resources but our souls are weak and malfunctioning.”

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Shun Grievances, Work For APC In 2023, Amaechi Tells Supporters

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The immediate past Transport Minister, Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi, has directed his supporters in Rivers State to set aside their anger and work for the victory of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in 2023.

Amaechi, a former governor of the state, spoke on Saturday, when thousands of APC supporters trooped out in Port Harcourt to give him grand reception after the Presidential primary election.

The former minister, who came second at the primary poll, was received by party enthusiasts, who followed him from the Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa, to the APC state secretariat in Port Harcourt.

Amaechi, who vowed to stay in Rivers and ensure the victory of APC, appealed to his supporters to return to their various units and work for the APC in 2023.

He said: “Please, in the contest for the presidency, we should know that we must go and vote for our party, no matter how angry you are, they have chosen, let’s go and vote for our party.

“For the stories you hear about the people who are gossiping how they are having meetings in France, let this be your own France. Vote for your party, don’t be afraid, just go home and do your work.

“Don’t be afraid, go home and work, that’s why I came, I came to thank you, I came to urge you to go home and work, let all of us be unit leaders, no more local government leaders, ward leaders.

“If you check in INEC, they are no longer announcing ward results, they are announcing unit results. So let go home and win our units and bring our units home.

“Those days of meeting, writing results have all gone, we must praise INEC, praise the National Assembly for reducing the level of rigging, where people write results and INEC will just announce, now it is almost gone.”

In his remarks, the state APC governorship candidate, Tonye Cole, assured supporters that the APC would be on the ballot in 2023.

He said: “My mission here is three-fold, one to reassure you that we will be on the ballot, number two, that there is no court case that we will lose because God is on our side, number three, we have won already.

“Why have we won? Because at the grassroots, we are number one, number two, on every ballot, we are number one, number three, we serve a God that is number one.”

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