This moment in Nigeria is gory, it is distasteful and humiliating and may not call for any musing on sports because it is an enterprise sadly ignored as a potent solution to the myriad of problems emanating from the youths population.
But for incurable believers in the power of sports like me,I find it difficult to stop the adrenaline that gushes in me daily as I see how our nation has failed and keeps failing to build a strong sports economy from the energies of our youths, especially the ones from very poor homes, and turn them away from the monster instincts the system has been building in them over the years through our failure, deliberately or ignorantly, to entrench a national value and consciousness to see sports as an alternative to oil and gas.
Painfully, Nigeria is where the arrow head of any leadership structure determines the trajectory of any sector.
It is usual to hear Nigeria or a state is failing in sports because the president or the governor doesn’t like sports. It sickens me.
In this century,such talk should be thrashed. It has no place.
What else should make anyone believe in the potency of sports to create individual economic and social liberation and national peace and growth than the stories of currently two of Nigeria’s living and active footballers in Europe- Wilfred Ndidi and Victor Osimhen?
Ndidi was a groundnut-selling boy who through football is now a stupendously rich Nigerian.
Osimhen was a water-hawking boy on Lagos streets before football took him to Europe and landed him in riches and media blitz.
Their riches now radiate their families,friends,associates and are encouraging more young boys to drop the gun, to leave street gangsterism, to avoid cultism and other dangerous tendencies to embrace football.
With indeed football and other sports too, our young girls may not find prostitution and other vices alluring.
Boko Haram, Niger Delta militancy, internet crimes or ritualism would have failed under the power of sports.
Sports economy has the power to consume social vices, it’s vast.It includes buying and selling of sports equipment, it includes marketing, communications, psychology, health and many more.
In this big pot is the big soup for all,and mainly the youths,but without the right platform, knowledgeable, honest and sincere leadership, nothing will work.
Ironically, the private sector economy money is waiting and wasting away. Waiting for sports to ask for its own chunk. But sadly, the Nigerian leadership has looked away and has killed the nation’s sports economy.
Mr Biodun Alabi is a Veteran sports Journalist