Re: How Saliu Mustapha Is Beating Bolaji Abdullahi In The Development Of Kwara Sports

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The attention of the Omolúàbi Media Team has been drawn to an article with the title referenced, which of course the author himself could not in good faith put name to. You see, when people indulge in infantile and outlandish falsehood, it is akin to stealing, internet fee fraud, armed robbery, kidnapping, and even murder, it can never be done with pride. So those who indulge in such must hide their identity.

But whoever the author, we wonder why such a person would trade honour for a “piece of silver.” Like in the case of the biblical Judas, they never find peace in the end!

The author claimed that Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi has done nothing for sports in Kwara, but if such a person were not unconscionable, how do you even make such a wild claim about a man who has been globally recognised as the best sports minister Nigeria has had since 1999, in an attempt to launder your “local champion” and “wannabe”.

In addition to Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi’s numerous achievements as sports minister, including winning the nations cup for Nigeria after 20 years in 2013, the last time Nigeria won it before then was in 1994, I doubt the writer was even born then. But for Bolaji Abdullahi, the writer would never have witnessed the joy of a country winning the nations cup.

Since the writer has chosen to query Abdullahi’s contributions to sports in Kwara State, we are happy to offer more than a handful of reminder, because we are convinced that perhaps the author suffers from a “lack of memory”.

In 2013, as Sports Minister, Abdullahi initiated the National Youth Games to discover new talents in various sports. This competition has held annually in Ilorin since inception in 2013. Is there any other contribution that could be bigger than this one, that for at least a month every year since 2013, Kwara State becomes the national focus for the duration of the festival.

Throughout the time Abdullahi was minister of sports, the national football team, the Flying Eagles, played all their qualifying matches in Ilorin stadium. The social and economic impacts of this alone cannot be underestimated.

Also as Sports minister, Abdullahi, in association with the DSTV/Supersports, launched the ‘Let’s Play’ initiative in Ilorin to promote grassroots football. Thousands of young people have taken up a career in sports because of this initiative.

Similarly, Abdullahi has sponsored members of kwara United supporters club to watch super eagles play in different countries, and even procured their jerseys for many years. We ask, where was this wannabe philanthropist in those years? And why did he suddenly appear from the blues now, if not for political gain? The author and his co-travelers should go and ask from Kwara United Supporters who they fondly call “Alh. Ethiopia.”

The interesting backstory that led to this name is that “Alh. Ethiopia” is one of the numerous people that benefitted from Abdullahi’s sponsorship of the Kwara United supporters club to different countries. When he came back from the visit to Ethiopia, which was funded by Abdullahi, he earned the name Alh. Ethiopia. These are real, not made up, stories. Unlike them, we do not embellish or colour our achievements.

But if not for pathetic lack of education, which is the hallmark of the author and the principal, how does the payment of gate fee for a football match translate to the development of grassroots sports?

Beyond Football, Abdullahi has also sponsored badminton tournaments for several years, and some of the talents discovered have moved on to represent Nigeria at international competitions. In same manner, Abdullahi has also sponsored Karate activities in Kwara for many years. These are facts that can be “fact checked” and verified with the relevant sports associations in the state.

Abdullahi has also sponsored many Kwarans to international sporting competitions in different countries of Africa and Europe, without making any public show. That is the difference between Abdullahi and the hypocritical candidate the author sought to promote. While Abdullahi believes that philanthropy should be done without much public show, the latter believes in overblowing his politically-motivated interventions and even lie, just to create a false impression. But we ask, to what end?

Through his Omoluabi Foundation, Abdullahi has sponsored handball competition in the State for several years. Through the same Foundation, he has also Sponsored the Omoluabi football tournament throughout Kwara Central, including Ilorin East, the local government of the APC Candidate. In fact, the final of the last edition of the Omoluabi football tournament, which held on the 24th may 2022, was played at GDSS Ojagboro, in Ilorin East. Like we said, for Abdullahi, impact and giving “no be today”.

Do we need to also remind the nameless author and his co-traveler, that Abdullahi has facilitated the recruitment of several Kwarans into the federal civil service through the ministry of youth development. These are verifiable and real impact, unlike the faux empowerment of the wannabe the author sought to promote.

As a great lover of football and a Chelsea fan himself, Abdullahi has also constantly sponsored free football show in several football viewing centers in Ilorin, in addition to actually going to these centers to also watch football with the everyday people. Abdullahi has always seen himself as one of them, previous political positions did not change him, neither will the one God has also destined in February 2023!

And these are just few of Abdullahi’s tangible and irrefutable contributions. Sadly for the nameless author, the person whom he/she sought to launder is an “opportunist” and “unprincipled” soul, whose intervention has been for political expediency, and never true love for the people. Our only prayer for the troubled but nameless author is that he finds the truth and hopefully it would set him free!

– Esinrogunjo Ibrahim
For: Omolúàbi Media Team
3rd September, 2022

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