By KATO P. LADAN, Kaduna
Founder and Chief Executive Officer of a non-profit initiative, Sardaunan Badarawa Foundation, Hon Usman Ibrahim has revealed plans to train 30 youth from amateur to professional footballers.
Mr. Ibrahim popularly known as Sardaunan Badarawa explained that the football Academy, an offshoot of his foundation in collaboration with foreign partners would transform players from grassroout footballers to professionals who could be signed by big clubs.
He further hinted that the Europe based foreign partners would be sending their officials soon, including coaches and mentors to train young amateur players from Kaduna Central Senatorial Zone into career footballers.
According to him, “It is basically a talent hunt to bring out the potentials in our amiable youths within the Kaduna Central Zone of the state,” he added.
The seven local government areas that make up Kaduna Central Zone are; Kaduna South, Kaduna North, Chikun, Kajuru, Igabi, Birnin-Gwari and Giwa.
Sardauna Badarawa added that a committee has been put in place for the smooth take off of the programme and making sure that all the items needed are on ground.
Hon Ibrahim who also holds the title of San-Turakin Hausa stated that youth restiveness, drug abuse, banditry and other forms of crime and anti-social activities can only be fought through job creation, youth empowerment, vocations among others, adding that sports, especially football could be an agent of developing the society positively.
He said the unifying and integrating roles played by football cannot be overemphasized, noting that the world number one sport can be used to drive national cohesion, particularly in these challenging times of mistrust among regions in the country.
“Youth are the bedrock of any country that wishes to be reckoned with in this our modern but complex age.
“It is imperative to develop their minds, brains and hands on certain revenue – earning activities or vocations so they could be useful to themselves and society and be capable to stand future leadership challenges.
“Governments can’t do this alone on their own because the problem has been building up for ages unattended to.
“Corporate bodies, politicians, captains of industries, nonprofits organizations must come in to give their best by absorbing these youth from labour idleness.
“This is my reason for coming in despite being out of public office for almost a decade now, to contribute my quota through a nonprofit foundation I formed to mentor our youth, create empowerment opportunities for them, make them discover their talents and calling in order to make them achieve them so the society can be a better place for all of us.
“Nigeria is blessed with talents, brains, ingenuity among others needed for development in technology, sports, engineering, space science and creativity but unfortunately these God given resources have been abandoned.
“We must awaken our conscience for national rebirth by paying attention to our youth to discover their talents.
“This has been my passion and preoccupation for over two decades now which I hold dearly in my heart and intend to keep the momentum either as private or public figure “he vowed.