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, in a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, in Daura, Katsina State, on Friday, believed that the health benefits in sports should make it more attractive to both young and old.
Shehu stated that President Buhari was speaking when he received organizers of the Muhammadu Buhari Cup Competition in Katsina and some soccer teams at his country home.
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 said: “I want the younger generation of our population to take part in sports so as to keep away from mischief and lawlessness.”
President Buhari commended organizers of the competition for maintaining unity among the youths in the Emirate, adding that by keeping the young people positively engaged, sporting activities also protect them from negative influences.
In addition to physical and mental fitness, he said sports also provides employment and ensures wellbeing.
“Sports provide jobs opportunities. It is also a business from which you can earn respectable incomes.
”Those who compete and excel at state and zones will eventually rise into national reckoning with focus and determination,” he further maintained.
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 the state government would continue to provide facilities and opportunities for promotion of sports.