Newly-inaugurated Minister of Sports Development, John Enoh, has replied critics who queried his ability to deliver in the Ministry assigned to him, saying he needs not be a footballer to lead the sports sector.
Naijloaded reports that stakeholders in the sector expressed shock at the appointment of the 57-year-old by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu last Wednesday, saying Enoh, a farmer and politician, had no connection with sports.
“I do not think that you need to be an active participant, that you need to be either a footballer or this or that for you to be Minister of Sports Development, I do not think so.
“I think what is required is who can provide leadership, who can provide direction, who can be transparent, who can understand this sector, and there is no how that anybody appointed here will not try to understand this sector,” Enoh said.
The sports minister who posited that being a footballer didn’t directly translate to effective leadership in sports said,
“If it’s about playing football or taking part in sports, I was a footballer and my schoolmates that are still in touch with me have sent messages to remind me of my playing days, after my appointment.
“It’s not about that really, I could be that footballer and can’t provide leadership and I’m not sure that’s what you’re looking for.”
He added that he wasn’t surprised that the media focused on his farming business.
“When some people drew my attention, they said I should respond to what was written in the media, ‘that he is a farmer turned sports minister and all that. ‘And I said,
‘Well, in my profile, you’re going to find that I’m a politician, I’m a teacher, I’m a farmer and I’m a philanthropist, so the media is free to just pick farming and blow it, isn’t it?’ But I also said, ‘Are they not correct? How much do you know about me in terms of the sports sector?’
“So, they are correct to write what they write, but now that I’m sworn in, the media will then begin to know who I am, and my hope is that it will be for a good purpose, that together we can make a difference in this sector that excites Nigerians,” the Cross River-born politician added.