The Nigeria Badminton Federation must be united to make progress that would not only be beneficial to just Nigeria alone, but the African continent as a whole, a candidate in the upcoming federations elections, Provost of the College of Education (COE), Minna, Niger State, Professor Faruk Rasheed Haruna has stressed.
Professor Haruna, expressed this in an emotion laden voice in Kaduna, where he was to visit key badminton stakeholders in the state, when he was asked what would be his first action if he emerges winner.
According to him, several camps and fragments are emerging in the federation which is unhealthy for the development of the game.
“As we speak and dream badminton, let badminton be our main concern. Interests and sentiments that will further divide us should be put aside and those that will unite us be embraced,” he advised.
Speaking further, he appealed to all members of the badminton family to ensure that they pursue the activities leading up to the elections with all sense of decency, maturity and patriotism that is geared towards a better federation and a better Nigeria.
On his experience as a sportsman, Professor Haruna said that he has seen it all from the scratch to the top.
He explained that his 40-year experience has seen him learn as a national player, a coach, an administrator in several capacities, in which he has proven that if given a higher responsibility, he would deliver the much needed results.
“As a Director of Sports at the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), I was able to facilitate the raising of N600m for the construction of a sports complex that provided the first ever wooden floor of the indoor sports hall in Nigeria.
“Also during my tenure, ABU always maintained first position in the Nigeria Universities Games (NUGA). Presently, COE Minna is the best in sports in Nigeria in terms of performance and facility,” he added.
The professor said that his knowledge in sports and psychology of athletes has always been an advantage of getting the desired result, as the athletes are selected scientifically and motivated to become champions, while adding that the bulk of national team players in badminton and judoka were discovered and groomed in academies he founded while at ABU.
Still on his achievements, he said that he was instrumental to the inclusion of badminton as one of the sports to be competed for at the World Universities Games.
When commenting, former Kaduna State Badminton Association Chairman, Mohammed Sodangi described Professor Haruna as an accomplished sportsman, coach and sports administrator.
He explained that the Badminton Federation of Nigeria stands a lot to gain if he emerges president.
“During his eight years as Chairman Technical Committee of the Federation, there were national competitions held. In the last four years that he was not on the board, not a single national competition was held,” he said.
Sodangi argued that as the campaign coordinator of Professor Haruna, he can safely conclude that his presence on the board contributed to staging of national competitions, since none were held in his absence.