President Muhammadu Buhari has vowed to resist any attempt to undermine the development of sports in the country, declaring that football as the number one sport in Nigeria remains a national asset.
The president made the pledge while receiving the 10-year Football Development Masterplan presented to him by the Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare at the state house, on Tuesday.
He directed the Ministry of Youth and Sports Development and the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) to commence implementation of the two volume report in phases, within the relevant sections of the Nigerian laws on sports development and the statutes of the world soccer governing body, FIFA.
The president further expressed concern over the (stunted) development of football in the past years, owing to the neglect of the core orientation of football administration, urging the NFF to salvage the domestic league at all level.
Meanwhile, President Buhari has applauded Nigerian student, Noel Ifeanyi Alumona, who won the 2022 AFS Award for Young Global Citizens, and became the first African to win the prize since its inception in 1914.
The award was presented to the Nigerian student during the International Youth Day organized by the United Nations Global Communications Department, the AFS Intercultural Programs and The Youth Assembly at the United Nations headquarters in New York.
President Buhari in a statement by his special media aide, Femi Adesina, noted that the responsiveness, kindness and sacrificial spirit of the Nigerian student, who is studying Special Education in Vanderbilt University, United States, and has already established foundations to cater for the needs of physically challenged, vulnerable and less privileged.
The president extoled Alumona for his outstanding character and dedication to helping others, particularly for attracting global spotlight to Nigeria, in recognition of his vigorous campaign to end violence against women and girls through proper orientation of boys on responsible behaviour.
Buhari affirmed that the student, who is an Obama Foundation Fellow, United States Institute of Peace Fellow, and United Nations Youth Assembly Delegate, is on the right side of history, channelling his energy to encouraging and supporting others, and creating a framework for charity.
The president prayed that the Almighty God will continue to lead, guide and grant Alumona wisdom to serve his country and humanity.