Re: Kanu Nwankwo as Special Adviser on Sports to Gov.Okorocha

Reading through the comments here and on my personal page assure of me of one thing. The overwhelming support of Governor Rochas Okorocha cannot be underestimated. Some of us on here know that I have been a firm supporter of the Okorocha Administration. Most people know how much how much I wanted him to win and how much his victory means to me. Now, you should know how much I want him to stay on track and silence the critics.

 According to information posted on the MTN Football website, Gov.Rochas Okorocha had appointed Former professional Footballer, Kanu Nwankwo as Special Adviser on SPORTS. Excerpts of the article read as follows:

Former Nigeria World Cup skipper Nwankwo Kanu has been appointed a special adviser on sports to newly-elected the Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha.

“The Governor announced Kanu’s appointment at the gala dinner after the testimonial on Saturday,” head of the Kanu Heart Foundation (KHF), Onyebuchi Abia, informed MTNFootball.com

News of this development spread like wild fire across the Internet and the various forums on the Social Media Network. While some of the responses supported the Governors decision, a some of us did not receive it quite well.  I belong to the latter group.

Before I continue, it is important to note that I have been a firm supporter of the Okorocha Administration. The Victory of His Excellency means a lot to me. Most importantly, his success will go along way to silence his critics. In meeting the high expectations of the indigenes who voted overwhelmingly, it is imperative that the right people are appointed to assist the Governor.

Governor Okorocha’s agenda in the area of SPORTS reads as follows.

  • YOUTH AND SPORTS

Our administration will invest heavily in youth development by building Youth Development Centres (YDC) in all the 27 Local Government Areas of Imo state. This will enable them to acquire skills and techniques for growth and development in this age of globalization. It will also help in engaging our youths meaningfully to dissuade them from involvement in social vices such as youth restiveness, cultism, kidnapping, armed robbery, prostitution, political thuggery, etc.

Since it doesnt specify Soccer alone, I assume His Excellency intends to develop other areas of SPORTS.This prompts me to ask the following; Is Mr. Kanu Nwankwo the best candidate for this position? Are there no Imo State indigenes qualified for this position?

Sadly, some of us failed to think indepth and ended up with responses centered on racism, Celebrity status, PR boost for the state etc.

Quoting my learned friend Mr.Kalu:

“By this master stroke, Okorocha has reversed the PR gains of Fashola. Obviously Imo lacked the funds to host the testimonial but have effectively made nonsense of whatever Fashola gained. International media will focus on his appointment as SA to Imo State governor from tomorrow. . . “

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We miss the point! Let us not get carried away with sentiments, please. My stance has nothing to do with Kanu Nwankwo’s state of Origin. We are all one. For me, it moreso about what he brings to the Boardroom. When we talk of SPORTS, it encompasses Judo, Handball, Soccer, Long jump,  Table Tennis,  Boxing, Swimming , Kungfu, etc.

As a professional football player, Kanu Nwankwo will have  limited knowledge to advise in those areas. Thus, his selection would be  restrictive because he is only a football player not a seasoned Administrator.  I learnt IMO STATE had the BEST FEMALE Handball Team in Africa at one time. Where does the team rank today if it still exists? If it does, how do we regain our lost Glory?

 So you see, I have every reason to  look beyond the Celebrity Status of Mr. Kanu Nwankwo. I choose to look  beyond the PR boost his inclusion in the Governors Cabinet would bring to the state.

What we need is a Sports Administrator that will help develop SPORTS from the grassroot level. So, when I ask if there are no people in Imo State qualified for this position, I raise that question because I am certain that the Governor will not need to look a far to find a perfect  candidate within.

In my humble opinion, since Kanu Nwankwo said he was retiring to focus on his Charity, perhaps if the Government had presented him with parcels of land to build a Hospital for instance, and provide access roads to the said Investment, that would have go a long way to boost the Economy of the state . Lets think of ways to improve the Economy as a whole, not just the PR aspect.

 I am not putting sand in anybody’s  garri o!  We all know Kanu does not need the money neither does he need the position. Confining him to the post of Special Adviser ties his personal aspirations down. He is more than that but, in the event he joins the Cabinet, After the 4 years, what next?

On that note, if it pleases His Excellency to appoint Mr. Nwankwo Kanu as His Special Adviser on SPORTS, who am I to challenge or counter his decision?

 Udo diri unu. I rest my case.

Joi John

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