The All Progressives Congress (APC) Candidate for Kwara Central Senatorial District, Mallam Saliu Mustapha, has vowed to explore available avenues to make sports attractive and productive to encourage youth participation if given the mandate to serve the people of his constituency at the National Assembly.
Describing sports as untapped goldmine, the Turaki of Ilorin in an interview with Journalists in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital, said sports remain a multi-billion Naira industry that is capable of creating employment opportunities for unemployed youth.
Mustapha said, “I have seen that a lot of our youth who have skills in different sporting activities are wasting away. They need somebody to encourage them, and it is somebody who has sportsmanship in him or her that would understand the potential that is being wasted”.
The Kwara Central Senatorial hopeful assured of his continued massive investment in sports, believing that his incentive to people who have inbuilt skills in sports is to encourage them to attain certain heights.
This medium recalls that the Turaki of Ilorin had been supporting Kwara United Football Club, especially during the Team’s CAF Continental outing and also sponsoring local football tournaments in Kwara State where he doled out millions of naira to them.
Mustapha, who plays football and table tennis, explained that giving prompt attention to sports is to tap untapped potential in the industry and galvanize private sector towards making it attractive and productive.
“For anybody who believes in sports, it is not just by saying it. Sometimes from character and attitude, you will know. As for a true lover of sports, that person will always have the spirit of sportsmanship in him or her. For me, it is not just that am I really a sport lover. I am a sportman.
“And I’m sure you have seen from some of my recent sporting activities. I’m a very good footballer. I play table tennis. When I was in school, I was one of the best athletes. I went as far as going for competition to represent Nigeria in the olympics. Unfortunately, I didn’t make it to America then. But I went for trials.
“That is why I believe if I can encourage, give incentives to those people who have inbuilt skills either through sports, they can also attain certain heights. That is simply why I have taken it upon myself to make sure I help to promote and encourage them so that they can use that to achieve their dreams”, he said.
The Kwara Central Senatorial candidate of APC also harped on the need to make the sports industry attractive for organized-private sector to invest massively in it, pointing out that government alone could not shoulder the responsibility of financing the sector.