A seasoned sports administrator, Fan Ndubuoke, has appealed to Gov. Hope Uzodinma of Imo to sustain his predecessor’s blueprint on sports development.
Ndubuoke, the immediate past Chairman of Imo Sports Commission, made the appeal during an interaction with members of the state chapter of Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN), on Friday in Owerri.
He said that Uzodinma’s predecessor, Chief Emeka Ihedioha, had a clear vision of sports development.
Ndubuoke called on Uzodinma to implement some lofty policies of Ihedioha’s administration on sports development.
He said that Ihedioha’s administration established the Imo Sports Commission aimed at eliminating bureaucratic bottlenecks associated with the `old order’.
He urged the governor not to allow politics to kill sports in Imo, in the interest of the people.
On the crisis in Heartland FC of Owerri, Ndubuoke said that the problem was traceable to greed and selfishness.
Ndubuoke, a former Heartland FC Chairman, said he ran the club with N8 million monthly subventions and won trophies for the state.
The Newsmen reports that the state government has yet to register Heartland FC players for the new season as directed by League Management Company, due to the crisis.
The state Commissioner for Youth and Social Development, Mr. Dan Ogu, had recently announced the dissolution of Heartland FC’s Interim Management Board but the board Chairman, Babatunde Ezekwem, claimed that the commissioner lacked powers to dissolve the board.
According to Ndubuoke, the Ezekwem-led board ought to cease to be when the government established the sports commission through a law.
“The Interim Management Board was a child of circumstance; it was introduced when the government was waiting to perfect the law establishing the sports commission,” he said.
Ndubuoke, who expressed worry at the crisis, warned that it might lead to a setback for the club, if not urgently tackled.
According to the sports administrator, the way to sports development in Imo is through the sports commission.
He urged Imo Football Association to play a ‘fatherly’ role in resolving the crisis.
“I call on the FA Chairman in Imo, Mr. Amanze Uchegbulam, to caution some of his members on the roles they are playing in the crisis in Heartland FC,” he said.
He also urged SWAN members not to be biased in reporting sports activities and the crisis in the club.
“Don’t allow membership of SWAN to be an all-comers’ affair. I left a formidable SWAN both in Imo at the national level; I want you to maintain that.
“You should use your various media to educate and inform the public properly; I beg you to be impartial and productive in your job,” he said.