By KATO P. LADAN, Kaduna
The Emir of Bade, Alhaji Abubakar Suleiman II says he will continue to support sports development in Nigeria until his last breath; just as he assured members of SWAN of his commitment to the Association.
A statement signed by the SA Media to SWAN President, Olalekan Ige dated 26/11/2019, said that these positions according to him, stemmed from the fact that sports remain a unifying factor across the world; and need the support of sports journalists to effectively manifest its potentials.
Alhaji Suleiman, who is also the Deputy Chairman of Yobe Council of Chiefs stated this while playing host to the President, Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN), Honour Sirawoo who led a delegation of members of the Association on a courtesy visit to his Palace in Gashua, Yobe State.
The monarch underlined the role of SWAN in the development of sports emphasizing that “you are the people that showcase to the world whatever is happening in the sporting world; your role in sports development is therefore very crucial and cannot be wished away.”
While calling on the SWAN President to carry everyone along, the veteran badminton, tennis and football player whose fraternity with SWAN dates over a decade stressed the need for members to work as a team for the Association to forge ahead.
“You can only achieve your set goals in this Association if you are united. Without unity, you cannot make headway; I, therefore, urge you to be united in one voice to move the Association forward. On my part, I will be available to support you within my capacity any time you knock on my door.” Emir Suleiman declared.
Earlier, SWAN President, Honour Sirawoo described the Emir as one of the most influential voices in Nigeria, saying coming to the monarch’s palace was part of his agenda to strengthen state chapters by creating a stronger relationship between sports Administrators and SWAN.
Sirawoo who further disclosed that he was in the Palace to thank the Emir for his numerous interventions to strengthen SWAN, said the Association was proud to identify with him due to his humility, love, and passion for sports despite his royal duties.
“Your Highness, we are happy to associate with you, you have been a uniting factor, and have shown unprecedented commitment to sports development and the growth of SWAN.”
The SWAN President described sports as a robust sector that provides the much-needed opportunities for talents to blossom, create wealth, unity and a veritable tool to check youth restiveness; and for a state like Yobe “encouraging sports and supporting SWAN was pivotal.”
While appealing for the provision of office accommodation and a vehicle for SWAN in Yobe, he said the Association is willing to partner individuals and organizations to promote sports in Nigeria, adding that plans were underway to reward individuals and groups committed to sports promotion and the development of sports journalism in Nigeria.