• Sat. May 18th, 2024

Unconventional Choice: John Enoh, a Farmer to head our Sports?



The Nigerian sports sector finds itself at a crossroads as the appointment of Senator John Enoh, a seasoned farmer, as the Minister of Sports Development under President Bola Tinubu’s administration has left top stakeholders in the field bewildered and questioning the direction of the nation’s sporting ambitions.

The unconventional choice, coupled with the restructuring that has separated the Ministry of Sports Development from Youth, has been applauded but the choice of the Cross River politician leaves a big question mark.

Previously, the Ministry of Sports Development had been intricately woven with the Ministry of Youth, a relationship that had its own merits and challenges. However, President Tinubu’s administration has opted to differentiate the two entities, perhaps in pursuit of distinct and focused attention on each facet. Abubakar Momoh, a former member of the House of Representatives from Edo State, now helms the newly established Ministry of Youth.

The spotlight, however, remains fixed on Senator John Enoh, a seasoned farmer with a vast political journey that spans multiple decades. Representing the Central Senatorial District of Cross River State in the 8th Assembly from 2015 to 2019 and previously serving as a member of the House of Representatives for Obubra/Etung Federal Constituency between 2003 and 2015, Enoh’s political pedigree is unquestionable. Beyond the political arena, he boasts an impressive portfolio as a successful farmer engaged in arable and livestock production. Additionally, his philanthropic endeavours shine through his diabetes-focused foundation, underscoring a commendable commitment to public welfare.

However, the consternation surrounding Enoh’s appointment hinges on his perceived detachment from the realm of sports. While acknowledging his multifaceted background, Nigerians have raised a collective eyebrow, lamenting the absence of a clear and verifiable link between Enoh and the world of sports.

This scepticism stems from a well-founded concern, as history has borne witness to the pitfalls of entrusting sports administration to individuals who lack the intrinsic understanding of the intricacies that drive athletic success.

Critics should also remember that countless times have we seen sports administrators with seemingly impeccable credentials who have faltered when tasked with overseeing the nation’s sporting endeavours. A refrain emerges, stressing that a genuine commitment to the task at hand, coupled with an intimate understanding of the unique demands of the sports arena, is what truly drives success.

The well-intentioned notion of harnessing the expertise of experienced individuals must be balanced with a recognition of the specialized knowledge required to effectively steer Nigeria’s sports trajectory toward victory.

The sports sector’s collective hope remains pinned on Senator John Enoh’s ability to rise above the scepticism and prove his capacity as a minister capable of understanding and elevating the nation’s sporting pursuits.

Lest we forget, better an earnest amateur to aid, than a renowned professional without the will to achieve.

Jokanola Bolaji

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