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Stakeholders opinion differ over Amokachi’s appointment as Buhari’s SA

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Sports stakeholders have expressed different opinions on the appointment of former Super Eagles forward, Daniel Amokachi, as Special Assistant on Sports to President Muhammadu Buhari.

While some described the appointment as a welcome development, some Sports luminaries questioned the appointment of Amokachi as Special Adviser to the President.

Amokachi’s appointment was announced in a press statement by the Media Office of the Minister of Youth and Sports Development on Thursday.

The letter titled, ‘PMB appoints Amokachi Special Assistant, Sports’, was issued on August 17 and signed by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha.

The statement quoted the appointment letter as reading, “I am pleased to inform you that Muhammadu Buhari, President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, has approved your appointment as Special Assistant on Sports. The appointment takes effect from August 11, 2020.”

Mutiu Adepoju, Amokachi’s former national teammate, described the appointment as good news for ex-footballers.

“This is very positive news and I congratulate Amokachi for the appointment. This is good for him as an individual and for us,” Adepoju said.

“This is why we’ve always called on footballers to add education to their profession, so we can have more opportunities after football,” he added.

Former Nigeria Taekwondo Federation president, George Ashiru, also applauded the appointment.

“I see it as a positive move and a symbolic one by the President; it encourages ex-internationals that even after they retire, the country still finds them useful because of their experience. This will send a message to the youths that if they achieve something for the country, they will not be forgotten.”

But sports journalist and administrator, Godwin Enakhena, questioned the appointment, saying it was not in the best interest of sports development in the country.

“For me, it’s a waste of time. This is not what we need to take sports out of where it is right now. If Amokachi is good enough, let him be appointed as the sports minister. Don’t give a portfolio where he doesn’t have any control,” Enakhena said.

“We know the problem in our country, sports is not taken seriously. The question is, who will Amokachi report to? Is it the sports minister or the President?

“Is (Sunday) Dare not reporting to the President as far as sports issues are concerned? I think there is no major responsibility attached to the portfolio.” he added.

Buhari had on February 13, appointed Amokachi as the country’s Football Ambassador.

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The Former Everton of England player was named Nigeria’s Football Ambassador in 2020.

Although a ceremonial role, as Ambassador he is expected to mentor youngsters.

Amokachi a.k.a ‘Da Bull’ began his career in Kaduna with Ranchers Bees, played for Club Brugge of Belgium, Besiktas of Turkey, Everton of England and Colorado Rapids.

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He played in three World Cup finals, won two Africa Cup of Nations as player and Assistant Coach to Stephen Keshi, Austin Eguavoen, Samson Siasia and Lars Largerback.

Amokachi also won Gold in the football event of the Atlanta 1996 Olympics.

Since his career was truncated by injury, he has coached the U-23 National Team, served as Assistant Coach of the Super Eagles and coached Nasarawa United.

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