Nigerian leader urges youth to embrace sports

Timothy Choji, Abuja

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President Muhammadu Buhari has urged more young men and women in Nigeria to pursue sporting careers, which can bring rewarding incomes, promote healthy local and global relationships, and ensure unity.

The President, who made the call in Daura, Katsina State on Friday, said the health benefits in sports should make it more attractive to both young and old.

President Buhari, who received Organisers of the Muhammadu Buhari Cup Competition in Katsina and some soccer teams at his country home, said “I want the younger generation of our population to take part in sports so as to keep away from mischief and lawlessness.”

The Muhammadu Buhari Cup Competition is held annually in Daura Emirate to encourage youths to develop interest in sporting careers and enhance their skills.

The President commended organisers of the competition for maintaining unity among the youths in the Emirate, stressing that by keeping the young people positively engaged, sporting activities also protect them from negative influences.

In addition to physical and mental fitness, President Buhari said sports also provides employment and ensures wellbeing.

“Sports provide jobs opportunities. It is also a business from which you can earn respectable incomes,” President Buhari stated.

The President said those who compete and excel at State and zones will eventually rise into national reckoning with focus and determination.

The Secretary of the Local Organising Committee of the competition, Malam Aliyu Bello told the President that before introduction of various cup competitions, young people in the Emirate were contending with idleness, lawlessness and in some cases, drugs abuse.

He said revival of sporting events in the state by Alhaji Sani Abu had brought a decline in negative activities.

The Director of Sports in Katsina State, Nalado Iro Kankia, assured the President that Governor Aminu Bello Masari’s administration will continue to provide facilities and opportunities for promotion of sports.