In most parts of the world, local government or municipal so to say play a significant role in shaping the life of the youths in a community bearing in mind that they’ll, in turn, contribute their quota to the development of their immediate environment at one time or the other.
At least, being the last tiers of government closer to the people means a lot and has a multiple advantages to both the ruler and the ruled.
And one such role is engaging them in sporting activities which will not only change the economy of such community but also channel their thoughts away from all forms social vices and give them a sense of belonging when they achieve their dream goal of becoming the sporting heroes and heroines of their generation.
However, the honour and the glory will not only go to them but have a way of extending to their respective local as well as their state government in general.
Falilat Ogunkoya, Sunday Bada, Kanu Nwankwo, Yusuf Ali, Wilson Oruma and the host of others are from one local government or the other. Many of these athletes are now ambassadors of many corporate organisations bringing fame and fortune not only to their families but their local and states governments.
Imagine multi-million Naira investment trapped around the third tiers of government begging for harvest without attention. It’s a known fact that if many of these athletes had not been discovered and nurtured, they would probably have rotten away and gone down the drain.
Although, some are likely to be in other professions while others who are not so fortunate will continue to constitute a nuisance to their families and such third tiers of government.
But engaging in the area of comparative cost advantage as the Economists will say, by showcasing their most desirable talent is the best and sensible thing to do.
What about the fame they enjoy both locally and internationally as a result of their sporting career which no doubt will last the test of time even after they might have died.
Rashidi Yekini, Muda Lawal, Samuel Okwaraji, have paid their due as far as sports is concerned in Nigeria and Africa in general. Even though they’re no more, they’ll always be remembered and celebrated as sports heroes.
Today, Mary Onyali, Kelechi Ihenacho, Blessing Okagbare, are all goodwill ambassadors doing Nigeria proud in and outside the shore of the country.
Meanwhile, our today’s leaders are far from it, quite a number of them do travel abroad, they see and hear how things are being done and yet still wallow in their barbaric way of thinking.
The most painful part of the story is that most of our political leaders only remember the youths when an election is in the pipeline. All that they ought to have done in empowering the youths will be brought to fore during their campaign just to disguise they have their interest at heart.
Weapons of different types are freely distributed to them during election leaving one wondering what kind of political leaders they are. At the end of the day, they’ll become political thugs terrorising their host communities and the nation at large.
“Omo olomo lo nje Abegunde” let them give their own children and brothers weapons to go and do the evil job they often times send the youths, then, people will applaud them for their bravery and understand we’re together in the game.
Countless of our youths have met their untimely death as a result of the barbaric and indifferent attitude of our political leaders at various point in time.
Many of them get peanuts in returns for the deadly actions and only remember them when another election is around the corner. They are used and dumped at will.
It is better for them to turn a new leave now and start empowering the teeming and vibrant youths so as for our community to be a better place to live.
Gone are the days when we clamour for good sporting facilities, now, most states can proud of standard stadia in a very conducive area. Lagos, Ogun and Oyo state, for instance, have about 4-5 each for themselves and still in good shape.
The youths, on the other hand, must be up and be doing and ensure they leave no stone unturned in achieving their sporting career as a stitch in time save nine. They must stand up and demand what rightly belongs to them for them to live their dream goal.