WITH MIKE ADEYEMI
Bamidele Aluko is the former Chairman of Kwara State Sports Council. In
this interview with MIKE ADEYEMI he speaks about the way forward to
sports developments in the state as well as the urgent need for Kwara
State to join the league of other states that operates sports
commission in Nigeria. Excerpts:
What is your reaction to the proposed sports commission in Kwara State?
About two weeks ago, I received a letter of invitation by the Kwara
State House of Assembly. Unfortunately, I was out of the state on
national assignment which not allowed me to attend the public hearing
on the issue.
But in my opinion, it is high time Kwara State join the league of
other states that are operating on commission level.
The main advantage of it is that as a commission, you will have some
other power which eludes ordinary sports council. As a commission, you
will be able to have a law to bring technocrats into the system and it
would afford the athletes to rise to the top of their carrier.
It will encourage efficiency because from my experience as a one time
chairman of the sports council. I knew that it is very difficult to
In the first instance, there will be provision for sports development
from the grassroots, it involves lots of monies to do that.
Unlike what was obtained in those days when we are in school. From
primary school, there were inter-house sports. From this competition,
athletes are discovered. It could be nomenclature, it could be news.
Then we had game masters. Then it was very easy for sports
administrators to identify students according to there skills. All
those are now absent. No school game, no state sports festival.
So it becomes difficult to identify athletes and it is a very expensive
phenomenon. But if it is commission, there will be divided in segment
where we have sport developers, sport hunting department to the
identification of athletes according to their talent.
Another thing is having discovered the talents, what do we do with it.
The scenario I have enumerated before has produced for Kwara in years
back in terms of athletes of reputes then that are world-class.
Kwara was a home for athletes in those days. What is in vogue now is
that we lose our athletes to other vibrant states who could afford
them in term of cost because the sports council system lacks some
knowwither to host them.
If the state could go on sports commission, it will be wise to accommodate them.
As former sports council chairman, how would you rate your period?
During my tenure as sports council chairman, we do everything possible
that all the national sports festival we attended we did not disappoint
Kwara within the little resources we have.
And we try as much as possible to encourage Kwara athletes do not lose
to other states. We tried as much as possible to reward them.
What are the challenges facing sports developments in Kwara State?
The challenges of sports development in Kwara State could be in many
folds. Sports is now a capital phenomenon. In every local government,
there should be a department for a sports man.
He goes to every facet to discover talents to report to the sports
council. At every school, there should be sports masters who should
report to the sports council.
So there are not enough coaches now. There should be inter-local
government competition and so on. Sponsorship is lacking and when we
have a sports council that it subvention is not enough to meet its
Unless all these are put in place, there would be less progress. We
should encourage the government to lay much emphasis on sports
Are you of the thought that a state of emergency on sports should be
declare in the state?
Right now, if you look at the resources viz-a-viz the level of
infrastructural decay inherited by the current government, it would
mean asking for much.
Because to say that is to ask that other sections should also be
overhauled. Let me ask, which areas that are not demanding attention
What I would rather ask the Kwara State Government to improve on now
within its little resources is to increase budgetary provision in
There should be a good departure from what we had in the past to now.
Sport is a social service and every government will want to invest in
where they would reap quickly.
But sport is not like that. It is a long-time investment. We
shouldn’t overstress the government.
How would you assess the current board of Kwara FA?
Yes. They look vibrant, energetic and purposeful. I wish they continue
like they have started. There are lots of decays there too.
They must look out for sponsorship. Each FA at the local government
have to be effective and up doing.
The current board of Kwara Utd has been adjudged high. Do you have
contrary view on this?
Thank you .Kwara United is a darling team that enjoying much followers
in the country. The club is one of the pioneer clubs and by now the
club ought to have been permanent on the NPFL.
They shouldn’t have been a club that will be going in and out of the
league system. By now the club should have win Aieto cup. And that is
why I agreed with the selection of the current board.
They are seasoned football administrators. They are people that know
what it takes in football. It is not that the past administrators are
For them to be successful, they have to appeal to the state government
to give them the political will and adequate supports.
Frequent government interference in football administration derailed
progress. If they are given two-year tenure, let the government leave
them to do it, until that tenure lapse.
To make good players today involves lots of funds. The government
should support the board in this area. The fans should try to support
the board wholeheartedly. They should allow the board to conduct the
club affair to the best dictate of their knowledge.